Skip to contents
Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Chicagoans Took 230,400 Scooter Trips During The First Month Of The New Pilot

Complaints about the scooters are down, according to the city, but too many people are still riding on sidewalks.

Courtesy Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.
  • Credibility:

LOGAN SQUARE — Scooter fans took 230,400 trips during the first month of the new pilot, according to the city.

That’s more trips than were recorded during the start of the first pilot in 2019, when there were 218,000 trips. But it shows the city’s “ridership rate” is down since this pilot is using more scooters and covers more ground than the first one, according to a Chicago Department of Transportation news release. The pilot began Aug. 12.

Each scooter is getting an average of 1.42 trips per day, while the first month of last year’s trial saw scooters getting an average of 4.76 trips per day, according to CDOT.

At the same time, complaints to 311 about the scooters are down 60 percent, according to the city. There have been 106 scooter-related reports filed so far.

But there are still too many people riding their scooters on sidewalks, which is not allowed and is unsafe, said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi, according to the news release.

The city will start requiring the scooter companies to put a tag on scooters to notify people they shouldn’t ride on sidewalks and need to lock the scooters to something, like a bike rack or light pole, at the end of the trip.

“We are working with the three scooter companies to provide additional education to riders about the importance of safe riding practices,” Biagi said, according to CDOT. 

Rosa Escareño, commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said officials are “encouraged” by the first month’s results.

“This pilot was designed thoughtfully and carefully to test this new mobility option, and we will continue this pilot proactively and diligently,” Escareño said in the news release. 

This year’s pilot only includes scooters from three companies. Each has been given warnings by the city, according to CDOT.

The warnings:

Bird 

  • Failed to rebalance designated share of scooters in each of the 20 Priority Sub-Areas  
  • Failed to launch the required number of scooters for the program and for each vendor  
  • Failed to relocate scooter parked outside of pilot area within 2 hours of notification  
  • Failed to have an operational warning bell on one or more of the inspected scooters 
  • Failed to provide information on scooter in braille and raised lettering  
  • Failed to display an app-based quiz that includes safety questions  

Lime

  • Failed to rebalance designated share of scooters in each of the 20 Priority Sub-Areas  
  • Failed to launch the required number of scooters for the program and for each vendor 
  • Failed to correct scooter parked improperly within 2 hours of being reported 
  • Failed to have an operational warning bell on one or more of the inspected scooters 
  • Failed to have a clear opt-in policy for sharing data with third parties 
  • Failed to display an app-based quiz that includes safety questions 

Spin

  • Failed to correct scooter parked improperly within 2 hours of being reported 
  • Failed to have a clear opt-in policy for sharing data with third parties 

The pilot is expected to last four months.

This year’s pilot differs from the first in that it is larger — with 10,000 scooters — and the scooters are now rideable everywhere in the city except on the 606, the Lakefront Trail and Downtown.

Scooters are rideable 5 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. More information about this year’s pilot is available online.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.