With highs averaging in the 30s in the winter months and only topping out in the 70s in the summer months Milwaukee’s climate is very different from the birth of the e-scooter in southern California. However, the freeze on the e-scooter pilot program has nothing to do with a cold front.
Milwaukee approved the electric scooter pilot program in July of 2019 and e-scooter company Lime was the first to implement the scooters within the city bringing 500 e-scooters into the city. However, within two weeks of having the e-scooters in the city, between July 23rd and August 2nd the city had received over 100 complaints about improper riding. The biggest complaint being that the e-scooter users were riding on the sidewalks and littering the sidewalks.
Mayor Tom Barrett has made strong accusations against the e-scooter program stating, “I’m not going to have this be a city where these are littered all around the city”. He was particularly concerned about elderly population being affected by the e-scooters blocking their access. Mayor Barrett has gone so far as to threaten e-scooter riders to follow the rules or face losing the privilege. He froze the program and is no longer allowing other e-scooter brands from entering the Milwaukee market and providing services. E-scooter companies like Bird and Spin are disappointed to hear that they are being punished for the e-scooter users utilizing Lime’s services.
The spokesman for the Department of Public Works in Milwaukee stated that, “We expect the riders to do a better job, and I don’t want to say it’s everybody on a scooter, but we are seeing enough that we think it’s problematic and we’re getting complaints through various channels that this is occurring“. If this complaints continue the pilot program may be deemed to be a failure.
The goals of Milwaukee’s e-scooter program are to “increase transportation options, expand access to transit, and evaluate impacts on access to the public right of way”.
|Helmets||Use is encouraged but not required|
|Streets or Sidewalks||Streets ONLY, must follow all road rules|
|Pilot Run Time||July 23rd – December 31st|
|Fleet Size||350, 750 if equal distribution within zones, and 1000 if performance metrics allow|