Transport Minister Ian Borg has questioned the logic behind Transport Malta’s proposed €25 annual registration fee that may be imposed on e-scooters, as debate over a consultation document gathers steam.[embedded content]
“I cannot understand how 125cc motorcycles have a €10 annual fee and for e-scooters it’s €25. It cannot be more expensive, but this is why we have a consultation period,” Borg told Lovin Malta.
On Monday, Transport Malta unveiled a public consultation document in a bid to regulate the alternative mode of transportation, but also encourage it.
Beyond stipulating that all riders will need a valid driver’s license, registration, and insurance, the document also revealed that a one-Time registration will cost €11.65, while the license will cost €25 per annum.
The feedback has been mixed since its announcement with commenters arguing that the government was placing unnecessary restrictions upon an accessible, efficient, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
However, others have argued that in order for new mobility services and platforms to grow sustainable and become part our transport system, clearly defined legislation and enforcement must be introduced.
For once, they argue, the government is being proactive on a new piece of transportation, rather than play catch-up to a sector that could create issues, as can be seen in taxi-sharing platforms.
“The first thing I said yesterday was that the plans would divide public opinion, there are those who would want us to be more liberal and there are others who would want us to be more strict.”
“The authority come out with a balanced document. However, just because I am the Minister responsible it does not mean that always agree on everything Transport Malta says.”
“Look at the issue surrounding helmets. People are asking why we didn’t make them mandatory. If it was up to me, they would be, but they are following the same line of thought that is applied for cyclists,” Borg explained.
Turning to concerns over licensing and whether this could preclude a number of users, Borg stood by the 18+ requirement, and argued that foreigners’ driver’s licenses would be valid.
“We need this form of transport, but we also need regulations,” he said.