FREE NOW to launch e-scooter booking option following legislation announcement

On Tuesday, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton announced the bill which includes a variety of measure aimed to improve transport across the country.
FREE NOW to launch e-scooter booking option following legislation announcement

Taxi app FREE NOW has also welcomed the introduction of legislation for e-scooters, with the company launching a new e-scooter booking option via their app in the coming months.

This comes following the publication of the Government's new Road Traffic and Roads Bill which includes measures to combat the legal barriers around the use of e-scooters and legislation to tackle traffic on the M50.

According to the company, 40 per cent of their passengers intend to use e-scooters for everyday transport following the passing of legislation.

“We are currently progressing discussions with a range of e-scooter providers to facilitate e-scooter integration on the FREE NOW app in Ireland over the coming months,” Niall Carson, General Manager for FREE NOW Ireland said.

“We are committed to partnering with reputable, high quality operators who prioritise passenger experience and place utmost importance on safety standards.”

M50 speed limits

On Tuesday, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton announced the bill which includes a variety of measure aimed to improve transport across the country.

The bill contains legislation to support more rapid implementation of BusConnects and laws to deal with “dangerous and antisocial off-road use” of scramblers and quads.

New measures will also allow for the installation of dynamic traffic management on the M50 which is aimed at making the motorway safer through varying speed limits on different sections of the road.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which is working on the project for the M50, will be able to slow traffic approaching an area where there has been a traffic build-up, as well as close lanes temporarily to manage traffic flow.

E-scooters

The Minister for Transport will also be able to provide for the use of these e-scooters in public places under existing regulatory powers.

E-scooters will come under a new definition of powered personal transporters or PPTs, which will also included the likes of electric skateboards, segways, and hoverboards that are not currently included in any vehicle categories under the Road Traffic Act.

Commenting on new legislation, head of communications at AA Ireland, Paddy Comyn, said: “The AA is broadly supportive of the proposed conditions of use and the introduction of legalisation to allow for the use of e-scooters in Ireland, believing that doing so will have a great potential to help further reduce our over-reliance on the private car for day-to-day commuting”.

“It is important, however, that at all times any supporting legislation legalising such devices protects the safety of all road users through restrictions on what kind of e-scooter can be used and where.

“As the use of such devices increases in the coming years, assuming for their legalisation, a greater investment in infrastructure to meet the needs of those commuting by both conventional bicycle and e-scooter will certainly be needed,” Comyn added.

Attractive public transport

According to the Government, the new bill contains a variety of other measures which will enhance safety on roads and help to make public transport and active transport more attractive.

Speaking about the new legislation, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said he hopes to introduce the bill in the Dáil in the next few weeks.

“We committed in the Programme for Government to resolving legal barriers to the use of e-scooters, as well as e-bikes, and this Bill will deliver on both of those commitments,” Mr Ryan commented.

“These proposals in the Bill should be seen as part of our wider efforts to encourage alternative forms of mobility, reduce our culture of reliance on the private car and open opportunities for active and healthy travel.

“The BusConnects proposals in the Bill will contribute to the same goal by underpinning our investment in a much-improved public transport network.

“This is a substantial Bill, which will address a number of other important matters.

“I believe it will represent a major improvement to our traffic and roads laws, with real benefits for the travelling public.”

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