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2nd Scooter Pilot Starts Aug. 12 With Bird, Lime And Spin

The city will allow vendors to leave scooters out at night. Last time, vendors had to pick them up at night and re-deploy them in the morning.

Courtesy Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.
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CHICAGO — The city’s second scooter pilot is expected to start Aug. 12, the Mayor’s Office announced Thursday.

The city has allowed three companies — Bird, Lime and Spin — to participate in the new pilot. Each will get to distribute 3,333 scooters across the city for people to use during the four-month pilot.

“The selected companies demonstrated in their applications the ability to meet Chicago’s strict operational, safety and equity guidelines” for the pilot, the Mayor’s Office said in a press release.

Four companies applied to be a part of the pilot. Only companies that were part of the first pilot last year were allowed to submit proposals.

Officials hope they can use data and feedback from this second pilot to determine if scooters stay in Chicago.

The city will allow vendors to leave scooters out at night. Last time, vendors had to pick them up at night and re-deploy them in the morning.

There will still be some restrictions, though: People will only be able to ride scooters 5 a.m.-10 p.m., and they won’t be usable on the Lakefront Trail, the 606 or Downtown.

Vendors will have to send half their scooters to “priority areas” on the South and West sides at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. to ensure they’re distributed equitably, according to the Department of Transportation.

Scooters will also need to have lock-technology, meaning riders will have to lock them to a bike rack or other object to end their trip.

And vendors will have to require new riders to take an in-app safety quiz and other education, will have to host educational events and will have to host helmet giveaways, the city said.

The city’s first pilot for scooters in 2019 ended with “mixed results,” which is why officials opted for a second one.

Survey results and data from 2019’s scooter pilot showed more than 820,000 rides were taken during the four-month pilot.

But Chicagoans were divided over the scooters, with some saying they were a hazard or nuisance while other said they provided a more environmentally-friendly and convenient way of traveling small distances.

A map of scooter boundaries for this pilot:

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