The Committee for Ballarat has supported a potential e-scooter trial in the city, sending a letter of support for a council proposal.
Modern e-scooters, which include safety measures like GPS fencing to keep them out of certain areas and speed limiters, are beginning to appear in capital cities in Australia and across the world.
In Ballarat, an e-scooter trial would deliver on a priority area in the Integrated Transport Plan to investigate and pilot new technologies, but a regulatory exemption from the state government would be required first.
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While the scooters would be a novel tourist attraction and encourage visitors to see more of the city, Committee chief executive Michael Poulton said a trial would encourage bigger picture thinking.
"How do we try to develop our growing city in ways that have less reliance on motor cars, and what are the shared transport options that can contribute to that?" he said.
"From our perspective it fits really well - it's active, you get around easily, it's not relying on heavy major infrastructure, it's a simple addition to the transport mix that would have a novel and functional role."
If the pilot is successful, it could lead to bigger things - Mr Poulton suggested locally-refurbished bikes with added technology for a Ballarat-led bike share scheme, or even investigating light rail.
"We're really interested in exploring the success of Canberra and Newcastle's tram systems," he said.
"Where does that sit in the mix of east-west or north-south next-gen tram network in Ballarat?
"The new-gen tram network doesn't rely on overhead gantries, so they run on tracks, but think about great boulevard of Sturt Street
"If you're going up and down Sturt, park and ride is a viable option, and then you don't have to go into the city with only one lane for traffic - so part of the mix would be to incentivise a tramway east-west, and disincentivise cars."
There would be added benefits from adding extra options into the system supporting a revised bus network and extra pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, he added.
"(Trams and e-scooters) could be cheaper than building new parking options, and would also free up car parks," Mr Poulton said.
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"Rather than finding space for more parking, let's free it up by reducing the amount of cars coming into the city.
"This is not about taking cars out of the city, we're not going to have a pedestrian-only city, it's about how to reduce the total number of cars.
"I think there is public appetite, but is there enough yet? No, we'd have to build it."
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