Wellington Railway Station joins “City Mobility” free mobility scooter scheme

2 May 2016

Last month the Wellington City Council announced a significant new location, Wellington Railway Station, would join its "City Mobility” free scooter hire scheme. The scooter located at Metro New World at the Wellington Railway Station is the latest location of 12 in the city.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown officially launched the scooter on 11th April. The "City Mobility" scheme is part of the Council's Accessible Action Plan and is a partnership between Wellington City Council and the TSB bank, who provide the funding for the fleet. 

We spoke with Anna-Marie Miller, from the Positive Ageing team at the Wellington City Council who told us that the scooters in the city have been popular with local residents and tourists alike- particularly those at Te Papa, Zealandia and the Botanic Gardens. Anna-Marie said that the council is constantly looking at areas for expansion of this scheme, which recently added a free beach wheelchair at Freyberg pool to its fleet. 

Anna-Marie told us that the team had identified the railway station as an ideal location as it allows people with accessibility needs to easily transition between the city's trains, bus service and Wellington’s vibrant inner city. Emily Liddell, the Metro Communications Manager at the Wellington Railway Station suggested Railway Metro New World as a potential site. Karl Marryatt, the owner/operator of Metro New World, was thrilled to be involved in the project and has worked with his staff to ensure an effortless, smooth process.

Launch of Mobility Scooter at Trans Metro Wellington RailBe. Leadership Alumna Genevieve McLachlan attended the launch, and was very positive about the location of the scooter at the Railway Station, saying that it would open up a gateway into the city. Genevieve said that her mother had used one of the scooters during a visit to Te Papa and that she would be encouraging her mother to come down on the train and use the one located at the Railway Station.

Genevieve McLachlan commented 'What I'd love to see is for other councils in the area to follow Wellington's lead- that would mean significant inclusion of our older population and those with mobility access needs".

Wellington is currently the only city in New Zealand that is operating this scheme at this scale. 

TSB bank Community Engagement Manager Zaneta Ewashko explained that "Over a period of approximately 10 years, TSB Bank donated a fleet of branded mobility scooters to various community groups around New Zealand. This exercise was undertaken as a corporate citizenship activity. The fleets are managed through various entities or groups across the country (independent of TSB Bank)."

The locations of all the scooters are as follows:
*Todd Energy Aquatic Centre, New Plymouth (4),

*Pukekura Park, New Plymouth (4),

*Hawera Hospice Shop (1),

*Auckland Botanical Gardens (4),

*Auckland Zoo (3),

*Age Concern Napier (1),

*Wellington Council (13),

*Hagley Park Christchurch (2)