To scoot or not to scoot: Findings from a recent survey about the benefits and barriers of using E-scooters for riders and non-riders

Rebecca L. Sanders, Michael Branion-Calles, Trisalyn A. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

E-scooters are rapidly changing transportation in US cities and university campuses. Hailed as a convenient, inexpensive solution for “last mile” and other short trips, e-scooters are available in over 100 US cities and were used for nearly forty million trips in 2018. Yet relatively little is known about e-scooter use, including who uses them, for which types of trips, and the perceived benefits and barriers related to e-scooters. This information is particularly important in light of concerns about safety and the loss of physical activity (PA) due to replacing walking and biking with e-scooting. In this paper, we aim to characterize trends in the barriers and benefits related to e-scooter use within a professional population. We surveyed 1,256 university staff in Tempe, AZ, finding that 36% of respondents had ridden e-scooters and 40% indicated that they would do so outside of campus in the next year. Overwhelmingly, e-scooters are seen as a convenient way to travel, particularly in the heat and compared to walking. However, demographic differences were notable, particularly regarding barriers. African American and non-white Hispanic respondents were significantly more likely than non-Hispanic white respondents to intend to try e-scooters and to be unhappy with current transportation options. E-scooters are also associated with concerns about traffic safety – particularly for women – and barriers related to being able to find working equipment when needed. These findings suggest that e-scooters fill an important transportation niche and may contribute to transportation equity, and that efforts to address barriers could further enhance that contribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-227
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Volume139
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • E-scooters
  • Electric scooters
  • Equity
  • Micro-mobility
  • Safety
  • Urban mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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