New Ruru racks for e-scooter parking in central Wellington

8 October 2020

New parking racks for e-scooters will start being installed in busy areas around central Wellington from next week to provide spaces where scooters can be left safely out of the way of pedestrians.

Image of escooter racks with Cr Free, Tilley Group, and Flamingo staff
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Wellington City Council is installing the racks mainly to accommodate the public share e-scooters at the 10 busiest places where people start or end their rides, although people who have their own e-scooters or push scooters can also use them.

The racks are known as Ruru racks as they resemble an owl’s face.

Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says the e-scooter parking will help to keep footpaths clear for pedestrians and provide much needed space for people to park scooters responsibly.

“We know that e-scooters are well used for making short trips around the city, but the convenience has to be balanced by people being considerate as to where they leave scooters at the end of their ride.

 

“The new racks will give scooter riders more options for where they can park safely, and it’s good to find a solution to this contentious issue. We’ll keep an eye on how well they are used and install more or relocate racks if there’s demand in some areas and not others.”

Designed in Wellington by Richard Hovey, and made locally by Tilley Group Ltd with support from their Rongotai neighbours Goldmark Group, the Ruru racks will provide free parking for up to 93 scooters at a range of locations including:

  • the waterfront – Whitmore Street, Queens Wharf (by Jervois Quay) and Taranaki Street
  • Cuba Street at Ghuznee Street
  • Cable Street at Tory Street (near Te Papa)
  • Courtenay Place – near Taranaki Street and Cambridge Terrace
  • Oriental Parade – near Waitangi Park, at Freyberg Pool and the Band Rotunda.

The e-scooter companies will redistribute their scooters to the racks in the morning when they have been recharged, and encourage their customers to use the scooter parking via their hiring apps.

Councillor Tamatha Paul, Portfolio Lead for Climate Change, says the Ruru racks can also be converted to include e-charging for scooters and the Council may look at this and other e-bike charging options in the future.

 

“All of these changes help to take the pressure off our public transport capacity and reduce the use of private cars and the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

In May this year, Councillors agreed in principle to the e-scooter scheme continuing from 2021. The current licences for Flamingo and Lime will end in December and in early 2021 the Council will ask for new expressions of interest from e-scooter companies to operate.

 

Installation of the Ruru racks will start Monday 12 October and is likely to take several weeks.