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Scooter Pilot Comes to a Close in Chicago

Chicago's heavily debated electric scooter rental pilot comes to a close today. The debate about how to treat electric scooter rentals in the future also begins today.
October 15, 2019, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Electric Scooters
Cody Engel

"The four-month electric scooter pilot in Chicago, both celebrated and reviled by residents, comes to an end Tuesday," according to an article by Mary Wisniewski

"As of last week, people had taken 772,450 rides on electric scooters, according to the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. That’s about 7,000 trips a day."

According to Wisniewski, the pilot program was intended to assess the effectiveness of scooters in facilitating public transit rides. Wisniewski characterizes the lessons of that experiment as a subjective, mixed bag.

As for what's in store for electric scooters in Chicago, Wisniewski writes that groups like the Active Transportation Alliance are already on the case. "In a new report, the Active Transportation Alliance said if Chicago decides to try scooters again, it should continue to keep them out of the central business district, and require them to be parked in docks or corrals, or locked to fixed objects."

A separate opinion piece, published by the same media outlet and written by University of Illinois Chicago Associate Professor of Planning Kate Lowe, makes an argument that planning for scooters requires perspective: "Regulators must ensure that scooters are equitably accessible, but scooters may not be the most needed transit solution in less dense and less wealthy communities of color. Policymakers should ask residents what would be."

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