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Milwaukee wants to know your thoughts on electric scooters

The City of Milwaukee second dockless scooter pilot study is coming to a close. After scooters took a year off from the roads in 2020 due to the pandemic, the city adopted the second pilot study this summer, allowing the companies Bird, Lime and Spin to each operate 1,000 scooters in the city on a trial basis.

Now, as that pilot study nears its end on Nov. 15, the city wants to hear what you think of the scooters. You can take the city's survey about dockless scooters here (there are also versions of the survey available in Spanish and Hmong).

While the city is still soliciting feedback, it seems likely that these scooters are here to stay. Milwaukee’s 2019 pilot program study found few major problems with the scooters, including few instances of crashes or injuries, and a survey reported that more residents approve of them than not.

“The high ridership demonstrates latent demand for new transportation options, and 58.4% of survey respondents cited ‘more transportation options in Milwaukee’ as an important or very important benefit of dockless scooters,” according to that study. “Smaller, electric, shared vehicles also have the potential to assist in achieving other City goals around health, equity, safer streets, and climate change.”

Milwaukee’s 2021 scooter pilot program, then, has focused less on the feasibility of dockless scooters than on ways to improve their usage and distribution. The city has identified reducing sidewalk riding as a top concern, as well as more equitably distributing the scooters throughout the city. If distributed properly, dockless scooters could help connect parts of the city under-served by public transportation to jobs and attractions, but in 2019 the scooters were inordinately placed in Downtown. Bird, Lime and Spin were required to better disperse their scooters under this year’s requirements.

The city is also monitoring how Covid-19 has changed people’s travel patterns.