Nobody could’ve predicted this finale to Chicago’s e-scooter pilot program: micro-mobility devices splashing in the Chicago River.
On September 25, 2019, CBS-2 received pictures of at least five rentable e-scooters floating in the north end of the river. Most of these photos were taken close to Diversey and Logan.
Most of the devices found in this section of the river were made by JUMP, but there were also a few Bird e-scooters. As of today, it’s unknown who threw these e-scooters into the river.
When brought to the City of Chicago’s attention, lawmakers said e-scooter operators are responsible for picking up any devices that are in improper locations at least 24-hours after notification. After this one-day period, Chicago will send out officials to pick up e-scooters, but it will charge the violating companies.
Chicago decided to launch an e-scooter pilot program with 10 companies in June of 2019. The program appears to be a hit with locals; the most recent statistics show Chicagoans rode e-scooters approximately 675,000 times in about four months.
This doesn’t mean, however, there haven’t been issues with the e-scooter rollout. During the trial period, Chicago city leaders also sent out about 40 citations to almost every e-scooter operator.
This pilot plan officially ended on October 15, 2019, and there’s no plan to renew the program. Chicago lawmakers have yet to reveal whether they’re interested in bringing e-scooters back anytime soon.
Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time e-scooters have been thrown into a body of water. In California, furious locals started tossing e-scooters into Oakland’s Lake Merritt, which prompted local environmental groups to take action, and they've been vandalized in Tampa recently as well.
Anyone interested in learning more about Chicago’s e-scooter policies should check out this website put together by the local government.
Filed under: Electric Scooters