Over the weekend, electric scooters launched in Chicago for a four-month pilot program—and many reactions on social media conveyed surprise. The scooters, from 10 different companies, appeared overnight and were available to ride Saturday morning.
The city first considered scooters a few months ago, and the pilot plan was announced quickly at the end of former Mayor Emanuel’s term in May. Compared to about 65 other cities rapidly adopting the new transportation option, Chicago was slow to get them rolling. However, now that they are here, many people have mixed reviews.
There are lots of critics, especially from drivers and bikers worried about sharing the road. Within a few hours of the scooter launch, a Twitter account showed up @Chicagofails anticipating the many scooters that would end up in trash cans or scattered over sidewalks.
The biggest issues so far appear to be staying off the sidewalk and riding the scooters safely. Also, some have noted the numerous potholes from a tough winter season make it more dangerous for scooters.
This weekend, many riders did actually wear helmets and share the road respectfully despite the loud angst on Twitter. A lot of scooters were parked upright and didn’t clutter the sidewalks. But, some rentable scooters did end up just outside the pilot area and on the 606, which the Park District said it wouldn’t allow.
If you’re not within the West Side pilot area, we’ve rounded up photos and reactions from social media to give you an idea of what the new scooters look like in the city.
Some scooters ended up in trash cans or fallen over on the sidewalk.
The pilot program requires scooters to get picked up by 10 p.m., but this one was still outside an hour after curfew.
Alderman Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) wasn’t happy with these scooters blocking the bike lane.
Could the answer be more bikes instead of scooters?
My criticism of e-scooters is:— Mike Keating (@ILBicycleLaw) June 17, 2019
1) The answer to the transit issues they are supposed to address is more bikes;
2) From proposal to implementation it was months with little public input; and
3) Few are familiar with how to ride at 15 mph - 3X average walking speed. #bikechi
Despite a lot of complaining on social media, people are enjoying scooters.
I saw lots of people out on scooters yesterday and didn’t witness anything chaotic. I’m sure there will always be some scooter abuse, but my first impression was people are having fun with it and mostly being courteous.— pantagrapher (@pantagrapher) June 16, 2019
Scooters properly parked next to a bike rack.
Scooters parked in compliance with the law. Look at that neatness! pic.twitter.com/kakicN1sFB— Jared Calvert (@jaredcal) June 17, 2019
These Veo scooters have seats to accommodate people with disabilities.
Whether you’re a fan of scooters, or not, nearly everyone has a strong opinion about it.