Chicago City Council committee approves e-scooter program

CHICAGO (WLS) -- E-Scooters are one step closer to coming back to Chicago long-term.

Aldermen in the city's transportation committee overwhelming voted Wednesday to move forward to bring back shared scooters.

E-scooter program returns to Chicago with new restrictions, focus on communities

In a transportation meeting Wednesday morning, aldermen greenlit the idea in a 14- 1 vote, to move ahead to a full council vote. The ordinance was introduced by 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins, but there were some doubts.

"Candidly, I don't trust them or their ability to keep them off sidewalks. I'll put my trust in the commissioner," commented 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman.

But Michael Rodriguez, Alderman of Chicago's 22nd Ward said, "The scooter program provides a clear alternative that's much better for our environment."

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Riders on sidewalks has been an ongoing complaint. Aldermen also peppered the Chicago Department of Transportation, which was in charge of the two scooter pilot programs, with questions about accidents and controlling scooter litter.

"It sounds like there are no stations, they can leave these scooters anywhere, is that correct?" asked 39th Ward Alderman Ariel Reboyras.

The I-Team has covered these safety concerns through both pilots and shown the improvements scooter companies are making, like programs which require riders to lock scooters on a rack and take a picture and high tech ways to keep the scooters off sidewalks.

Three scooter vendors who are hoping to be part of the program - Lime, Bird and Spin - also answered questions before the vote.

The ordinance will go to full council Thursday, and if it passes, could be implemented this spring.
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