City chooses 3 e-scooter com­pa­nies for sec­ond pi­lot set to launch in Au­gust

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY MITCH DUDEK, STAFF RE­PORTER mdudek@sun­times.com | @mitch­dudek

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.

SUN-TIMES FILE

A sec­ond pi­lot pro­gram for e-scoot­ers will be­gin Aug. 12.

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