City chooses 3 e-scooter companies for second pilot set to launch in August
City officials on Thursday announced the three e-scooter companies that will participate in the second pilot program set to launch Aug. 12.
The companies are Bird, Lime and Spin. Seven companies that participated in the first scooter pilot last year are not included in the second pilot.
The upcoming pilot will include up to 9,999 scooters across the city, 3,333 scooters per company.
“The selected companies demonstrated in their applications the ability to meet Chicago’s strict operational, safety and equity guidelines,” according to a statement released by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office.
The boundaries in which the scooters will be able to operate have been expanded and will include nearly all parts of Chicago except the lakefront trail, The 606 trail and the city’s central business district, which includes the Loop and other portions of the downtown area.
Under last year’s pilot program e-scooters were allowed in an area bound by Halsted Street and the Chicago River on the east, Irving Park Road on the north, Harlem Avenue and the city limits on the west, and the Chicago River on the south.
Vendors will be required to deploy at least 50% of their scooters within an “equity priority area” — the city will check for compliance twice a day.
“Special attention will be placed on equity priority areas that cover approximately 43% of the pilot area geography. The equity priority areas cover neighborhoods where residents face systemic disadvantages following generations of underinvestment and inequitable access to transportation and other resources,” according to the mayor’s office.
To avoid the issue of scooters being left on sidewalks between trips, which garnered complaints last year, all scooters will be equipped with locks that require riders to lock the device to a fixed object — such as bike racks, street signs, retired Chicago parking meters (but not bus stop signs) — to end their trip.
If scooters are improperly parked, city officials are urging folks to call the number of that particular scooter company, which will be clearly listed on each scooter.
Vendors will be required to remedy the situation within two hours of receiving a complaint.
E-scooters are limited to 15 mph, cannot be ridden on sidewalks and will be available only between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.
A second pilot program for e-scooters will begin Aug. 12.