It is another wonderful entry in the Australian Design Awards competition, by Anton Grimes of the University of New South Wales. He writes:
The Link scooter system is designed as a modular transport solution that can be retrofitted to existing Streetscape Smart Poles. It allows users to hire a small lightweight electronic scooter from a hub and ride to the desired destination and then return the scooter to another hub, where it is recharged. The use of existing light poles reduces the cost of the unit and provides strong anchors that carry both telecommunications and power to the hub. The device was designed to suit the Sydney 2030 plan to reduce cars in the CBD and make the city more pedestrian oriented.
I would have thought that scooters are not as safe as bicycles, and indeed the designer has thought about this, noting that
"The speed of the scooter is limited to 16km/h and the user is issued with a helmet that they must wear when they register to use the system. Users are required to comply with existing cycling and road rules. "
It is so inconspicuous, folded up and attached to the lamp-post. If we could all learn to ride the things without getting ourselves or pedestrians killed the benefits are significant:
With increasing demand on an already over-stretched transport infrastructure it makes sense to shift the way that we move, by taking up less space per individual while in transit. The energy required to move the individual is also greatly reduced by reducing the size and weight of the vehicle.
The device also removes direct emissions away from the city and with the addition of environmentally sustainable power generation off-site, the device has the potential to have no net emissions.
More at the James Dyson Award, via Design Blog.