E-scooters to return to Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Electric scooters will return to the streets of Milwaukee. 

The Department of Public Works presented its recommendations for dockless scooters to the Milwaukee Common Council Tuesday, June 21, and a pilot program was approved in a unanimous vote. 

Last year, scooters were banned from several zones surrounding the downtown area. 

This will be the third pilot program for scooters in Milwaukee. 

“Incorporating new technology with multiple modes of transportation adds vitality to Milwaukee, increasing public activity, and connecting people to neighborhood businesses. This scooter pilot aligns with that vision, and I thank the Common Council for approving this program,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said.

Similar to 2019 and 2021 pilots, this year’s pilot will allow a maximum of three scooter companies (operators) and will be managed by the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW).

“Whether participating in Mayor Johnson’s Gathering Spaces initiative, facilitating Active Streets or overseeing Complete Streets design and construction, the scooter pilot is another way the Department of Public Works seeks to enhance community connectivity via infrastructure improvements and our programs,” Interim Commissioner of Public Works Jerrel Kruschke said.

The 2022-2023 pilot builds upon observations and data from the previous pilots for the following improvements.

  • A maximum of 1,800 scooters citywide
  • Broader dispersal of scooters city-wide, fewer concentrated Downtown
  • Revised fee structure that is a $50 per device fee and a $0.25 per trip fee
  • As sidewalk riding is illegal, operators must have sidewalk riding detection technology & plan to address it

The 2021 pilot showed significant ridership according to data provided by the three operators.

  • 481,706 total rides
  • 2,452 average rides per day
  • 2.6 riders per scooter per day

The 2021 pilot included a public survey which showed positive results.

  • 74% of trips were non-recreational
  • 47% of respondents replaced a car trip
  • 70% of respondents thought scooters should be allowed
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