WTTW reported this week that Chicago’s e-scooter program would not allow riders on the 606 trail. The Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) originally stated that the e-scooters would not be allowed on the lakefront pathway, but announced yesterday that the ban would also include the city’s busy 606 trail.
The 606 is a 2.7-mile elevated rail trail running east–west on the northwest side of Chicago. The 606 is the former Bloomingdale Triain Line, which was converted into an elevated greenway, which runs through the Logan Square, Humbolt Park and West Town neighborhoods.
CDOT unsurprisingly also anounced that e-scooters would be banned from the downtown river walk and from O’Hare airport. E-scooter companies will bid for three (3) available two-year licenses from the city to deploy a maximum of 3,000 scooters on Chicago’s streets this spring. Each firm would be allowed no more than 1,000 scooters, according to the rules.
“Companies will be allowed to deploy additional devices if they meet specific ridership, safety, compliance and education requirements,” according to a statement from the departments of Transportation and Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
The program could expand to 12,500 scooters with the support of Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi’s support.
The deadline for firms to apply is Feb. 18, officials said.
I think this is the right move by CDOT and the city council. The lakefront, 606 and riverwalk are all incredibly busy trails that can attract thousands of walkers, runner and bicyclists per day during warm weather. The addition of e-scooters, which are implemented to help reduce vehicle traffic on the city streets, would could cause undo congestion on the trails. The e-scooters will be available to rent through an online app, similar to the Divvy bicycles are currently available.
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