City of Sydney E-Scooter Trial

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Original motion moved by Councillor Jarrett, seconded by Councillor Gannon.

It is resolved that:

(A)       Council note:

(i)         at the 27 June 2022 Council meeting, Councillor Jarrett tabled a Notice of Motion which called upon the City of Sydney to participate in the NSW Government’s e-scooter trial that was scheduled to begin in July 2022;

(ii)        Councillor Chan amended Councillor Jarrett’s Motion and instead requested the Chief Executive Officer to “monitor the progress of the e-scooter trials in other locations over the next 12-18 months and report back to Councillors via the CEO Update on observations and any changes to Council’s position to participate in the trial as a result” and “advocate to Transport for NSW to provide financial assistance to Councils to encourage them to develop and manage the e-scooter trial and ensure its success”. This amendment was carried;

(iii)       Wollongong City Council was the first city-centre to launch a dedicated e-scooter trial which has been operating since 29 September 2023;

(iv)       on 20 October 2023, Neuron Mobility - the supplier that Wollongong City Council have engaged to supply the e-scooters for the their trial  - released a report titled ‘Stronger rider demand continues’ (the Report) which assessed the impact of the e-scooter trial on Wollongong’s City Centre since its inception; but the NSW government is yet to formally assess the e-scooter trial across various trial locations;

(v)        between 29 September and 13 November 2023 over 17,000 people took more than 46,000 trips on the 300-strong e-scooter fleet operating in Wollongong, with a total distance of over 100,000km being travelled;

(vi)       the Report indicates that the incident level in Wollongong has remained low and is in line with expectations;

(vii)      despite the short amount of time since the beginning of the e-scooter trial, the Report notes that the economic impacts of the trial in Wollongong have been following the same pattern as over 20 other cities in Australia and New Zealand where data shows that “on average seven out of ten e-scooter trips result in a purchase and 45 per cent of e-scooter trips replace a car journey, reducing congestion and emissions;

(viii)    the Report notes that, based on Australian-wide research, the trial in Wollongong has seen 45,000km of car trips replaced by e-scooter trips which has been estimated to have saved approximately six tonnes of CO2;

(ix)       further, around 30,000 e-scooter trips have resulted in a purchase from a local business either immediately before or after a rider’s journey, resulting in an estimated $200,000 of incremental spend at local restaurants and businesses in Wollongong alone;

(x)        Council unanimously adopted the City of Sydney’s Electrification of Transport Strategy and Action Plan at the 26 June 2023 Council meeting;

(xi)       within this Strategy, Action Plan number 5 denotes that the City will ‘advocate that subsidies for electric vehicles (including for charging) proposed by the Australian and NSW Government reflect the City’s fleet transition hierarchy (i.e. e-bikes and other micro-mobility and public transport first then commercial and finally private vehicles)’;

(xii)      at the Council meeting of 20 November 2023, Council is being asked to endorse the City of Sydney’s Access Strategy and Action Plan – Continuing the Vision;

(xiii)    within Continuing the Vision, Action number 14 ‘Electrification of City Transport’ reflects the 21 actions outlined in the City’s Electrification of Transport Strategy and Action Plan and recommits the City to both advocating for and participating in opportunities to electrify transport options;

(xiv)    the first NSW city-centre e-scooter trial taking place is in Wollongong, and the company supplying the e-scooters reports they have successfully demonstrated the positive economic and environmental impacts e-scooters have on cities both locally and nationally; and

(xv)     e-scooters, similar to that of e-bikes, are an alternative form of electric transport that would advance the progress of meeting our net zero emissions target by 2035. However, given the high pedestrian activity in the City Centre and the risks that e-scooters on crowded footpaths present, the City should wait until the separated cycleway network is completed, so the trial takes place only on the separated cycleway in order to maintain the safety of everyone; and

(B)       the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         write to the Secretary of Transport asking when Transport for NSW will make available their assessment of the e-scooter trials, and whether this will include any independent data and observations regarding the economic and environmental impacts as well as the safety considerations collected in other locations participating in the e-scooter trial over the past 12 to 18 months; and

(ii)        report back to Councillors via a CEO Update with the response from Transport for NSW and advice about the City of Sydney’s participation in an e-scooter trial.

The amended motion was carried on the following show of hands –

Ayes (9)           The Chair (the Lord Mayor), Councillors Chan, Davis, Ellsmore, Gannon, Jarrett, Kok, Scott and Worling

Noes (1)          Councillor Weldon.

Amended motion carried.



Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 20/11/2023

Date of decision: 20/11/2023

Decided at meeting: 20/11/2023 - Council

Accompanying Documents: