MILWAUKEE -- The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) announced on Saturday, August 10 that it will approve two additional companies (operators) for participation in the City’s Dockless Scooter Pilot Study. DPW will approve the pilot applications for Bird and Spin as early as Monday, August 12, 2019.
Bird scooters and Spin scooters will join Lime, whose application was approved on July 23. All three operators will be allowed a total of 350 scooters -- 250 in Zone 1, 50 Zone 2 and 50 in Zone 3. A zone map can be viewed HERE.
On August 2, the DPW set a restriction on additional scooters in the pilot due to concerns that too many riders were not obeying the rules of the road. The announcement also urged users to not ride on the sidewalk and to park responsibly. Scooter users were encouraged to park in locations that do not block pedestrian access.
Since that pause, the DPW has been in close communication with operators, all of whom are taking aggressive steps to further promote proper scooter usage. These steps include safety events, in-app notifications, ambassadors and patrols, along with partnering with business improvement districts, neighborhood groups, and community organizations. The Department has also received a decrease in complaints and witnessed public support for continuing the pilot.
“We will continue to focus on safety and on addressing the concerns,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “I am pleased scooter companies are working with their customers to increase awareness and ensure safe riding for everyone on our streets and sidewalks.”
To date more, than 53,000 trips have been made on scooters in Milwaukee.
“Each operator’s allowed fleet plan has been scaled back to ensure the number of scooters in circulation are manageable and being used properly,” Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Polenske said. “We will frequently assess the fleet size and determine if adjustments need to be made.”
In an eight-hour count of scooter usage in the Third Ward, eastside and downtown, DPW observed 83% of users riding on the streets. The Department will continue to collect data on sidewalk riding and monitor public feedback.
The pilot, created by direction of the Milwaukee Common Council, is scheduled to run through December 31, 2019. It may be suspended at any time, per the authority of the Commissioner of Public Works.
Goals of the pilot include:
- Increase transportation options
- Expand access to transit and fulfill last mile connections
- Evaluate impacts on access to the public right of way
Per the pilot, operators are responsible for handling all complaints, informing riders how to safely use scooters and its systems, and providing the necessary education and training.