As city mulls fate of e-scooters, one company touts use by Blue Line riders
Electric scooters help get people to public transit, thereby reducing motorists on Chicago’s roadways, the company, Lime, asserts.
Locations near CTA Blue Line stops in hip neighborhoods topped the list of final destinations for e-scooter rides during the city’s four-month trial period that ended in October, according to one of the scooter companies that took part in the pilot program.
Lime, one of 10 companies that offered riders an array of different scooter models, announced Tuesday that trips on its green-accented scooters most often ended near the following Blue Line stops:
Damen: 2,248 trips.
Division: 639 trips.
California: 518 trips.
Grand: 476 trips.
Logan Square: 448 trips.
The only non-Blue Line stop to make the list was the Morgan stop on the Green and Pink Lines in the bustling Fulton Market area; 1,595 trips ended there.
San Francisco-based Lime said rides are connecting people to public transit and help reduce congestion — a factor that city leaders will be taking into account as they decide the fate of the e-scooter program.
Newly-appointed Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi was asked about the future of electric scooters in Chicago after testifying Tuesday at her City Council confirmation hearing.
Biagi said she would review results of a study on the scooter pilot before deciding whether to allow scooters to start up again in Chicago.
“We’re just getting in the data about how it went. We’ll be making that available over the next couple of weeks so everybody — the whole city — can look at how that scooter pilot went. And then, we need to decide what are the right next steps,” she said.
Biagi was non-committal about whether she believes electric scooters have a permanent place in Chicago’s ever-changing landscape of transportation alternatives.
“When everyone looks at the report, you’ll have an opportunity to see for yourself. I think we want to get it right,” she said.
“We had 10 different companies. We had selected geographies where we were testing them. We need to really think hard about whether to extend it [and] in what way. All of that we’ll be learning through this report, which is being compiled as we speak. I’m looking forward to reading it more deeply, then thinking about what the next steps are.”
There’s no deadline for a decision, but a verdict is expected in the next couple months to bring them back permanently — or not. A third option would be to be another trial period.
If the city renews the scooter experiment, one or more of those 10 companies could be tapped.
During the pilot, scooters were available within an area from Irving Park Road south to the South Branch of the Chicago River, from Halsted street to the west edge of the city.
Contributing: Fran Spielman