LOGAN SQUARE — While some Chicagoans are still deciding if they like the new e-scooters popping up everywhere, plenty more are already out taking the scooters for a spin.
The city has granted permits to 10 vendors, allowing them to have 250 scooters in parts of the city for the next four months as part of a pilot program. The scooters started popping up all over the Northwest and West sides on Saturday, with most of them costing $1 to unlock and then another 15 cents per minute of use.
The scooters racked up more than 11,000 rides just in the first weekend, according to the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
“As the four-month pilot program continues, we’re exploring all options for improvement based on resident feedback and concerns, and we will continue to build on our comprehensive education campaign to promote safe riding, encourage helmet use and ensure proper parking and riding procedures,” department Commissioner Rosa Escareno said in a statement.
The scooters have inspired plenty of debate, though, with some concerned they’ll clutter the streets and sidewalks, making it more difficult for people with disabilities to travel outside, or could be a safety hazard for riders who aren’t used to scooters. Others say the scooters will allow people a more “green” way to travel short distances than taking a car.
There are even dueling Twitter accounts about the scooters, with one account — @ChicagoScooters — documenting when the scooters are used and stored appropriately and another — @ChicagoFails — highlighting, well, when they aren’t.
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