By Dustin Ford
Scooter rentals are very popular in college towns and cities, but they have not come to Chicago until now. 2,500 e-scooters landed in Chicago on June 15th and will be in a pilot stage for the next four months. This pilot stage is to see if the scooters are viable for residents.
These scooters work in a similar fashion to how bike sharing services work. The only exception is that you can pick up and drop off the scooters anywhere. Once you find a scooter, you can unlock them using the Vendor’s phone app. The approximate cost of using this service is $1 for unlocking and 15 cents for every minute used. Once you are finished you relock it and walk away. It should be noted that there are rules for using these scooters.
This service will only be available from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Riders are prohibited from riding on sidewalks for the safety of pedestrians. For the safety of the rider, the electric scooters are capped at 15 mph. While this service is in its pilot stage riders cannot leave the designated test area with the scooters or they will slowly shut down. As a rule of thumb, it is best to say within the area enclosed by route 90, route 55, and the IL 50.
While there are some concerns about safety and theft, it is likely that scooters are here to stay. While the concept might be new to Chicago, these ride-sharing services have been around for a couple of years and have several procedures in place for most incidents. It will most likely prove beneficial to Chicago residents, especially in the test area. The Western side of Chicago is lacking in transportations options compared to the rest of the city. This change could be very beneficial to not only westerners but to all of Chicago. It could help reduce congestion and pollution as well. Scoot over Chicago; make some room.
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