The city of Chicago has announced that applications are now open for companies interested in participating in a new pilot program for e-scooters this summer.
According to city officials, firms must submit applications for the new pilot program by June 25, and three qualifying vendors will be announced in July. In last year’s program, 10 different companies were involved, but only three are expected to be chosen this time around.
The city anticipates that scooters will be back on the streets of Chicago by the end of July or in early August.
According to a spokesperson for the city, the new pilot program will aim to apply lessons from the first program, and will look to address issues of “equity, parking solutions and safety.”
To help encourage more accessibility to the devices, geographic limits have been expanded for the new program:
The Lakefront Trail and The 606 will be off-limits, as well as parts of the Central Business District, with boundaries at Roosevelt Road on the south, Halsted on the west and Chicago on the north end.
A total of 10,000 devices will be distributed through the city, with vendors required to deploy 50 percent of devices through areas on the South and West sides.
Scooter companies will also be required to work to help keep riders safe amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Companies will be required to clean devices each time staff members come in contact with them, according to officials. It will also be recommended that riders wear gloves and wash their hands after using the scooters.
A new in-app safety quiz will be required for all new riders, according to city officials.
Finally, there will be no requirement to pick up scooters overnight, but scooters will not be able to be ridden between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.