Just like Lime, Bird says biggest rider complaint is not enough scooters

Two black scooters parked on a double wide sidewalk next to a grey planter with red and green leafy plants. In the distance on the corner a young girl in a jean jacket and pink dress rides a yellow Bolt scooter.

Scooters on a Chicago sidewalk. | Shutterstock

Both scooter companies have released rider data

At the end of July, Lime released a report that showed how its riders were using scooters across the city. Now halfway through the pilot program, Bird has done the same.

While only 120 Bird scooter riders responded to the survey, it provides a few insights into what is working with the scooter pilot program and what’s not. Most riders complained that scooters are scarce, but also that infrastructure is a problem too.

The results fall in line with what Lime’s survey found: people who are riding scooters want more of them. More than 78 percent of people who took Bird’s survey said they’d ride more if there were more scooters and about have were disappointed they couldn’t find a Bird near them. Right now, each of the 10 companies has 250 scooters which means there are only 2,500 in the West Side pilot area.

Infrastructure was a problem too. Half of the respondents said the roads were not smooth enough to ride and that they would take more trips if there were more protected bike lanes. In 2012, there were only 13-miles of barrier protected bike lanes but since then the city has continued to add more along busy roadway including busy downtown sections like two-way Dearborn Street and Milwaukee Avenue.

The city’s intention with the pilot was to increase access to public transit and make last-mile travel easier. The data shows 23 percent of respondents took scooters to L stations or bus stops and 82 percent said that having this mode of transportation made it more likely that they’d use public transit. About 26 percent of survey takers said that they had used a scooter in lieu of a car trip too.

Most survey takers, 37 percent, took scooters to work or school and only 12 percent used them for leisure which was unusually low compared to other cities, Bird said.

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