SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. July 24, 2018 — A new independent research report on the arrival of electric scooters finds that a large majority of people support them. Conducted by a team of MIT and UC Berkeley PhDs at the San Francisco-based transportation data and analytics company Populus, it is the first-ever study with representative data from across major American cities on electric scooter adoption and behavior. The study finds that the majority of people (70%) view micro-mobility services such as the new electric scooters and dockless bikes that have been launched in cities recently as providing more options for people to get around, as a convenient replacement for short trips in a vehicle, and as a complement to public transit.
“Our large-scale data from across major U.S. cities reveals that these new micro-mobility services enjoy fairly broad public support and have remarkably high adoption rates given their recent arrival,” said Regina Clewlow, CEO and Co-Founder of Populus and former transportation research scientist. “If cities and private mobility operators are able to coordinate effectively together, the support for these new services could help facilitate a transition away from travel that is currently dominated by cars in most U.S. cities.”
The study, which is based on a representative data sample of over 7,000 people in 11 major U.S. cities reveals the following key findings:
A majority of people across the cities (70%) view electric scooters positively: they expand transportation options, enable a car-free lifestyle, are a convenient replacement for short trips in a personal vehicle or ride-hailing service (i.e. Uber or Lyft), and are a complement to public transit.
Adoption rates of electric scooters and many mobility services are accelerating faster than ever, due in part to the continued proliferation of GPS-enabled smartphones and greater diversity of transportation options in cities.
While prior station-based, non-electric bikeshare services have predominantly been used by men by a factor of 2x to 3x, this new study suggests that electric scooters may enjoy more support and adoption by women. If U.S. cities can harness this new wave of interest in micro-mobility to improve bike and scooter infrastructure, they might make progress on closing the active transportation gender gap and improve safety for everyone.
This new data also suggests that dockless electric scooters may also enjoy higher adoption rates by lower-income groups and could potentially help cities make progress on equity goals.
While a majority of people in San Francisco have a positive view of electric scooters (52%), San Francisco ranks lowest by a wide margin as compared with other cities - but it is an unusual outlier.
Led by MIT and UC Berkeley PhDs with over a decade of experience simulating the future of transportation for cities, federal agencies, and automakers, Populus is a first of its kind enterprise data and analytics platform that helps cities and private mobility operators more effectively partner to deliver safe, equitable, and efficient streets.
For further information about the study and to download a copy of the report please visit: