Australia, You Now Have Electric Scooter-Sharing
Heard of bike-sharing? Well, now there's scooter-sharing.
US company Lime has unleashed hundreds of electric scooters on the streets of Brisbane, in a trial that almost didn't happen.
The dock-less vehicles, which can reach speeds of 27km/h, are actually illegal under the existing state transport laws.
"We're very thankful to the Queensland government for their exemption to the regulations that were granted overnight to permit this trial," said Mitchell Price, Lime's director of government affairs and strategy.
The scooters are pretty easy to take for a spin. Just download the Lime phone app, set up an account and wave your phone over one to unlock it and you're away.
"This is an opportunity to get around with less congestion, do so in a fun way and ultimately it's really an eco-friendly prospect," said Caen Contee, Lime's vice president of expansion.
But dock-less scooters have become a bit of a nuisance in other cities.
There's no shortage of social media photos showing them dumped right in the middle of footpaths.
In response, Lime has promised to clean up every night.
"By 10pm, our operations team will be deployed onto the streets of Brisbane to remove the scooters. Every scooter is charged every single night," said Mr Price.
As for the charge to your hip pocket, it costs one dollar to unlock a scooter and thirty cents per minute until you log off.
Donald Campbell from Brisbane CBD Bicycle User Group welcomes the new scheme, but warns the costs could add up.
"They may be more expensive than existing public transport and they're certainly more expensive than using the existing CityCycle scheme," he said
A Queensland government review of laws around the use of e-scooters is expected to be completed by Christmas.