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Chicago Dockless Scooters Used Across the City, New Study Shows

Data from the city's e-scooter pilot program show that they might be filling in the first-mile/last-mile gap for riders at all income levels.
August 27, 2019, 6am PDT | Camille Fink
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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Lynda Lopez writes about a new report from DePaul University researchers about e-scooter usage in Chicago during a pilot project that is scheduled to run to mid-October. The study takes a closer look at one day of data collected every two minutes in July.

It finds that operators are generally deploying fewer than the 250 scooters allowed. "Some reasons for numbers being lower than the maximum levels were offered in the study, which included higher-than-expected maintenance issues or a desire from operators to focus on particularly geographic areas," notes Lopez.

Usage during peak hours suggests that riders are using the devices to travel to and from transit stations and stops. The analysis also shows that scooters are not just being used in affluent neighborhoods in Chicago. In some low-income parts of the city, the number of scooters remained above 40 percent.

"The study provided some promising data about the presence of e-scooters and their potential to be an asset for communities underserved by Divvy and transit," adds Lopez. 

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Published on Thursday, August 22, 2019 in Streetsblog Chicago
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