Get scooters off footpaths - taxi firms

Dunedin taxi operators are calling for the city's new Lime scooters to be forced off footpaths and on to cycleways.

But they insist the e-scooters - which launched in Dunedin last week - are showing no signs of undercutting traditional taxi operations in the city.

The scooters are classified as low-powered vehicles able to be operated - without a licence or helmet - by riders on the city's footpaths.

They could also be ridden on the road when the footpath was unavailable or congested, or on shared pathways and cycle lanes separated by concrete islands.

But they could not be used on cycle lanes painted on to the road, which were reserved for cyclists only.

Southern City Taxis owner Anthony Ware said yesterday he was not noticing any downturn in business as a result of the scooters' arrival, and did not expect one.

His customers were those who were either travelling too far for an scooter to be suitable, or simply did not want to use one, he said.

He saw no merit in the scooters and predicted they would be a ''five-minute wonder''.

But, while they were here, the rules needed to be changed to keep pedestrians safe, he said.

Scooters should be banned from footpaths altogether, and forced to make use of the cycleways which had cost the city ''millions''.

''I don't know why we spent millions and millions of dollars doing the cycle lanes when these little [scooter riders] can go wherever they like.

''Where's the point? They're faster than a bike and they've got no protection.

''It's bizarre. Millions and millions of dollars, all around town, and these little [scooter riders] can go on the pavement and knock old ladies over.''

Dunedin Taxis manager Simone Green said the scooters had prompted both ''negative and positive'' discussions, and she was not against them.

''I think the idea is clever, and managed well, this could be of benefit to the community.''

She also questioned why they were allowed to share footpaths with pedestrians, when the scooters were capable of speeds of more than 20kmh.

''This is an accident waiting to happen when competing for the same space as the walking public.''

Despite that, she said the scooters' arrival had not had a noticeable impact on demand for taxis.

''I'm sure there is a place for them and time will determine how successful they are.''

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Comments

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Even a person running on footpath can bang into people.

People don't usually run at over 20kph though.

I think you were either meaning to say "I" instead of "people" or "40kph" instead of "20kph"? I can easily run faster than 20km/h and I'm no athlete. The whole point of running is to go quite a bit faster than walking (4-7km/h), and I'm surprised that this even needs explaining at all.

Telling scooters ( or cyclists ) to stick to the cycle lanes is a bit like telling motorists to stick to the motorways.
And if they were truly concerned about accidents waiting to happen , then they should be advocating a 30Km limit for cars in town. Scooters aren't likely to kill someone. Cars do.

No, it's like telling cars to stick to the road — which they do. And for that very reason, they're very unlikely to kill or injure anyone on a footpath, unlike scooters.

A footpath is called a footpath for a good reason. Wheeled (and powered) vehicles should stick to the facilities they're provided with — roads and cycleways.

Dunedin needs more Uber drivers and less taxi drivers.

If taxi drivers want to get scooters off footpaths, then it's safe to assume they want them on the roads and cycle lanes.
Rather than crying out for legislation, perhaps taxi drivers could be more courteous on the road, with the intention of making other road users, like cyclists and scooters, feel safer sharing it with them.
Taxis give the impression they are the most arrogant of road users. I see them behave impatiently and dangerously on a daily basis.

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