Rent-and-ride e-scooter trial coming to Melbourne

Person riding an electric scooter

Craig Duff

Posted January 24, 2022

A new form of electric mobility is about to hit Melbourne’s streets and bike paths.

Melbourne’s first legal electric scooter service will launch from February 1, when 1,500 vehicles will be available for hire across the Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip municipalities. 

Despite the increasing prevalence of private e-scooters in Melbourne, they are officially illegal if they can travel at more than 10km/h.

Given the adoption of the devices, the Department of Transport has established a comprehensive trial to gauge their efficiency, safety and effectiveness. 

Electric scooter trial

The year-long trial will be operated by e-scooter experts Lime and Neuron Mobility. Prospective riders will need to download the Lime and Neuron apps to access the scooter. 

Able to be ridden on bikeways, shared paths (not including footpaths) and roads with a speed limit up to 50km/h, the rent-and-ride trial comes after Ballarat launched a similar program in December 2021 involving 250 scooters.

Booking an e-scooter will require riders to be over the age of 18 and wear a helmet, just like regular bike riders. 

In this case, the e‐scooters use an app‐controlled “helmet lock”, which secures a helmet to the vehicle and electronically releases it at the start of the booking.

The trial is expected to be popular with tourists and Melburnians and is supported by the RACV as another form of sustainable mobility solution for our metropolis. 


Person using a mobile phone app to unlock an electric scooter

Helmets are required to ride e-scooters in Melbourne. Image: Getty

E-scooter road rules 

Operating the devices outside of the approved areas attracts a $182 fine and the Department of Transport warns that using a private scooter at any time can see riders hit with an $826 fine for riding an unregistered vehicle.

Riders aren’t required to have a driving licence but if you do have one, if can be cancelled or suspended if you breach drink or drug-driving restrictions. The regular 0.05 rule applies to alcohol, though learner and provisional licence-holders will need to be 0.00. 

The trial complements the National Transport Commission’s review into the safe use of personal mobility devices, including amendments to the Australian Road Rules. 

The Department of Transport notes that: “significant data will be gathered during the 12-month trial to understand how the vehicles could be safely incorporated into our transport network longer term”. 

Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, has applauded the trial.

"The trial will provide another fun new way to get to your next meeting, meet people after work or explore our stunning city,” she notes.  

"It's going to be exciting seeing flashes of neon, orange and green on our streets, and we can't wait to see people safely scooting about."

For a full list of regulations and penalties that apply to e-scooter riders, visit the VicRoads website.