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7 Scooter Companies Get Slapped And Fined By City For Not Living Up To Contracts

“This is just the first step in holding these companies responsible to meeting our strict pilot terms,” said Rosa Escareno, the city's Business Affair and Consumer Protection commissioner.

Electric scooters could hit downtown streets in the spring if a proposal passes in the City Council Thursday.
Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.

CHICAGO — Seven companies operating electric scooters in Chicago have been fined by the city for not living up to the terms of their pilot program contract.

Citations with a maximum fine of $1,000 were issued to Bird, Bolt, grüv, JUMP, Sherpa, Spin and Wheels, the city said.

Violations ranged from failing to ensure that scooters remain within the pilot area, failing to require post-ride pictures, failing to respond to complaints promptly and failing to address the city’s equity requirements.

The companies are part of a four-month pilot to see how well the scooter companies will serve Chicago. They enjoyed a huge number of rides when they were first unveiled, but also drew a large number of complaints about scooters being strewn around neighborhoods, people riding them on the 606 and more.

“This is just the first step in holding these companies responsible to meeting our strict pilot terms,” said Rosa Escareno, the city’s Business Affair and Consumer Protection commissioner. “Any vendor that continues to fail to adhere to the pilot’s terms will be subject to permit suspension or revocation.” 

Here are the specific violations, according to the city:

  • Operating Outside of the Pilot Zone – Bird 
  • Failure to Limit Scooters to 15 mph – Wheels 
  • Failure to Require Post-Ride Pictures – Bolt and grüv 
  • Failure to Respond to Complaints Within Two Hours – Sherpa and grüv 
  • Failure to Be Responsive to Concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – Spin and Wheels 
  • Failure to Affix Educational Brochure to Scooter – Bird and Sherpa

Three companies that are also part of the pilot — Lime, Lyft and VeoRide — did not violate the terms of the program, the city said.

Alex Nesic, co-founder of CLEVR Mobility, said the failure to respond violation was a “surprise frankly as we have been running a fully staffed 24/7 operation on the ground with 3 x 8 hour shifts of personnel/vehicles either collecting, deploying or rebalancing units. Supporting them is our live 24/7 customer service center which is operating the phone lines, in-app reporting channel and email channels as well as social media channels.

“We have been responding to all complaints as rapidly as possible on an ongoing basis and will continue to try to improve this.”

As for the lack of the photo enforcement feature, he acknowledged it’s missing.

“It is a feature that has been in development our app but has not yet made it out of testing into the commercial app. We anticipate this feature to be live very shortly,” said.

A Bird representative said the company needed more time to respond. The other companies did not respond for comment.

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