On August 12, 2020, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) launched a second, four-month e-scooter pilot program. The program will include 10,000 scooters divided equally among Bird, Lime, and Spin.
Compared to the first program, the second includes enhanced requirements to keep sidewalks and the right of way clear of obstructions. It also ensures the equitable distribution of the vehicles throughout the city.
The program updates come after the City evaluated the 2019 pilot and feedback from residents and community organizations. To emphasize safety, riders are encouraged to wear a helmet. Electric scooter travel is limited to only 15 mph, and the vehicles are never to be ridden on sidewalks. Also, e-scooters can only be operated between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. In order to access a scooter, new users have to pass a safety quiz.
In addition to those requirements, the 2020 pilot also requires all e-scooters to be equipped with a lock to secure the vehicle to a fixed object. This is being done in an attempt to declutter and maintain clear sidewalks—particularly for residents who are visually-impaired or those with disabilities who depend on unobstructed sidewalks.
In response to the program and the changes made from the first, CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi said, “This new scooter pilot program builds on our experience in the first pilot, focuses on safety for scooter riders and the general public, and requires a more equitable distribution of scooters. We will also test the viability of scooters as a mobility option across Chicago’s neighborhoods. Particularly during the Covid-19 public health crisis, it’s important that we explore innovative options that make it easier for Chicagoans to get around.”
Rosa Escarenos, BACP Commissioner, also responded to the new electric scooter program: “Chicago is dedicated to testing the viability of innovative mobility options that have the potential to improve transportation access across the City. Vendors will be held to the highest standards of accountability in how effectively they manage impacts on the public right-of-way and how they promote the safety of both scooter riders and other people who are in the right-of-way.”
Even though this pilot program is focused on safety, it’s likely accidents will still happen. If you’re involved in one, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. In the event another driver caused your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your losses.
Get in touch with the Rideshare Law Group today to schedule a case evaluation. We’ll review your situation and give you an idea of how best to proceed to protect your future. Should you choose to file a claim, we’ll be with you every step of the way.