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Second E-Scooter Test Program Now Underway in Chicago

Posted on in E-Scooter Injuries

Illinois personal injury attorney e-scooter accident

For the second year in a row, the city of Chicago is experimenting with electric scooters. A new pilot program launched on August 12, as part of an effort by city officials to determine if e-scooters should become a permanent part of Chicago street traffic. This year’s version of the program is much larger than last year’s, both in terms of the number of scooters available and the areas of the city in which the scooter can be found.

The E-Scooter Program at a Glance

Three e-scooter companies are taking part in this year’s pilot program. Bird, Lime, and Spin have each pledged to provide one-third of the 10,000 total e-scooters that will be scattered across much of the city. This is about four times as many scooters than were used last summer, but the number of participating companies has dropped from 10 to just three. Each company uses a proprietary mobile phone app and is allowed to set its own pricing for scooter rental. Reports indicate, however, that the prices are similar across the board: about a $1 fee to unlock a scooter and an average of 35 cents per riding minute after that. Discounts, special pricing, and even free rides are available.

The electric scooters are permitted to travel at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour, and they must be used on roadways and in bike lanes. They cannot be ridden on city sidewalks, in the downtown Loop business district, on the 606, or on the Lakefront trails. Scooters are available seven days a week, and hours of operation are from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

There will not be designated docking stations for e-scooters during the test program. Instead, each scooter will be equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled lock that can be used to secure the scooter to a fixed object, such as a bike rack or signpost. Last year’s program saw riders leaving the scooters wherever they felt like—including in the middle of the sidewalk and in the Chicago River.

Half of the scooters in the program are expected to be located in the city’s South and West Sides. City officials say that in those areas, many residents struggle to gain “access to transportation and other resources.” There is hope that a successful scooter test program will improve transportation access throughout the city.

Scooter-Related Injuries Are Inevitable

The scooter companies and city officials are placing a great deal of emphasis on rider safety. Unfortunately, however, accidents are going to happen, and people are going to get injured. Last year, for example, the city reported 182 injuries during the test program that ran from June to October of last year—a period in which more than 820,000 rides were taken. With the number of riders expected to be much greater this year, the number of injuries will likely increase as well.

Contact a Cook County E-Scooter Injury Attorney

Accidents involving electric scooters can result in serious injuries to the rider, in addition to nearby pedestrians, cyclists, or bystanders. If you have been injured in any type of scooter-related accident, contact a knowledgeable Chicago e-scooter injury lawyer at Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz. Call 312-804-6102 to schedule your free consultation today.



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