Chicago scooters are coming back; city finalizes e-scooter program to start in May

CHICAGO (WLS) -- You'll be able to rent e-scooters in Chicago again soon. Three scooter companies, Lime, Spin and Superpedestrian, will bring 3,000 rental scooters ot the city.

"Reduce emissions from cars and hopefully reduce traffic. Traffic is worse now than before pandemic, less stress on public transit and people getting exercise so it sounds good," said Chicagoan Pedro Chavez.

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There will be an additional 1,000 scooters integrated into Divvy's current bike docking system. Scooters will eventually be all over Chicago's downtown and city neighborhoods but they will not be allowed on the Lakefront Trail, the 606, the Riverwalk or Navy Pier.

In 2019, the ABC-7 I-Team uncovered scooter safety concerns when the first pilot program launched. New techniques will reduce scooter litter.

"Every scooter has a Bluetooth cable attached to it. And that led to a 70% decline in 311 complaints of the city," said Lee Foley, Director of Community and Government Relations for Lime.

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"I don't see a problem with it as long as they aren't taking up space on the sidewalk," said Shandu Foster, Chicagoan.

Companies also added sidewalk-riding detection technology.

"One has the ability along with other operators to modify behavior when they're on the scooters. That can include slowing down the scooters. In some cases it can include stopping the scooters, and it also includes audible sounds for the riders so that they're aware of their behavior," added Foley.

RELATED: Halfway into city-wide trial period, are Chicago's shared scooters making the grade?

Lime pointed out that scooters will help reduce carbon emissions and give people a break on increasingly high ride share costs, as well as surging gas prices.

"What we're seeing right now, especially in Chicago, is $5 a gallon gasoline," Foley said. "When one launches next month, right, it's $1 to unlock and 39 cents. And that's an addition to lines on equity program, where we offer automatic 50% discounts for riders on the South and West Sides of the cities equity area."

Scooters should start rolling out in mid-May. The licenses will run a full two years for the scooter companies. If you see scooter litter or riders on the sidewalk, call 311.
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