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Chicago’s second escooter trial reveals riders are dropping curiosity

This text was initially printed by Christopher Carey on Cities Right this moment, the main information platform on city mobility and innovation, reaching a world viewers of metropolis leaders. For the most recent updates comply with Cities Right this moment on Twitter, Fb, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or join Cities Right this moment Information.

Chicago’s second e-scooter trial concluded final week, with town seeing a 22% drop in ridership in comparison with final yr’s four-month trial.

In whole, 640,000 journeys have been offered between 12 August and 12 December by Chook, Lime , and Spin, the three corporations collaborating within the trial.

Through the preliminary four-month pilot that ran from 15 June to fifteen October final yr, riders took 821,000 journeys in an space 1 / 4 the scale and with 1 / 4 of the units offered within the 2020 pilot, in response to the Chicago Division of Transportation (CDOT).

Talking in regards to the drop in numbers, Sara Dodrill, Communications Supervisor, Spin advised Cities Right this moment: “The pandemic prompted a number of stay-at-home orders throughout Chicago over the course of 2020. Consequently, using transportation has been down throughout all modes of transit, not simply e-scooters.

“One other main distinction between the 2019 pilot and the 2020 pilot is the time of yr when the pilot was executed. The 2019 pilot was carried out throughout peak season for e-scooter transit, mid-June to mid-October. The 2020 pilot was delayed due to the pandemic and missed two of our highest ridership months.”

Along with this, CDOT additionally expanded its Divvy bike scheme within the Far South Aspect neighborhood in August with the introduction of three,000 new e-bikes.

[Read: Meet the 4 scale-ups using data to save the planet]

Regardless of the discount in numbers, town says modifications within the second pilot have lowered pavement muddle attributable to improper parking, lowered the variety of resident complaints, and elevated entry to shared e-scooters in fairness precedence areas on the South and West Sides.

The typical journey size was additionally longer, up 14% on the earlier yr, and town is now searching for suggestions from members of the general public via an on-line survey that runs till 7 January.

“Now that the second pilot is winding down, we invite the general public to share their suggestions and assist us consider whether or not e-scooters make sense as a everlasting a part of Chicago’s transportation system,” Gia Biagi, CDOT Commissioner, mentioned.

“We need to hear from everybody, whether or not they have been a scooter consumer or not. It’s necessary that we incorporate suggestions from all throughout town in our decision-making as we go ahead.”


One of many main questions town wished to discover within the 2020 pilot was whether or not e-scooters may successfully enhance mobility for residents who face financial, well being, mobility, or accessibility obstacles, with officers saying these points took on added significance as a result of transportation challenges posed by the COVID-19 disaster.

Town designated an fairness precedence space that included giant parts of the South and West Sides, with every e-scooter vendor required to deploy 50% of their units day-after-day in precedence areas.

Preliminary knowledge revealed that on common, 52% of all units have been deployed to the areas, and every vendor’s common every day deployment truly exceeded the requirement.

This contrasted sharply with vendor compliance in 2019, when corporations deployed simply 36% of e-scooters to precedence zones.

In whole, nearly 160,000 rides – a couple of quarter of journeys – befell within the fairness precedence space on the South and West Sides.

Parking compliance

One other goal for the 2020 pilot was the discount of improper parking of e-scooters on sidewalks, with particular regard for maintaining a secure path of journey for residents with disabilities.

To deal with the problem, Chicago required that every one e-scooters be outfitted with a lock and secured to a set object to finish a journey.

Preliminary stakeholder suggestions and knowledge indicated that e-scooter parking compliance improved considerably within the 2020 pilot, with a 79 p.c lower in complaints-per-day-per-device when in comparison with 2019.

“We’re inspired by the preliminary knowledge we now have seen from the second pilot,” Rosa Escareño, Enterprise Affairs, and Client Safety Commissioner mentioned.

“This pilot was designed thoughtfully and punctiliously to check this new mobility choice, and we at the moment are going to work with stakeholders to totally study the information to judge whether or not e-scooters make sense for Chicago in the long run.”

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Printed January 8, 2021 — 09:04 UTC

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