Changes in travel behavior, attitudes, and preferences among e-scooter riders and nonriders: First look at results from pre and post e-scooter system launch surveys at virginia tech

Ralph Buehler, Andrea Broaddus, Ted Sweeney, Wenwen Zhang, Elizabeth White, Mike Mollenhauer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Shared micromobility such as electric scooters (e-scooters) has the potential to enhance the sustainability of urban transport by displacing car trips, providing more mobility options, and improving access to public transit. Most published studies on e-scooter ridership focus on cities and only capture data at one point in time. This study reports results from two cross-sectional surveys deployed before (n = 462) and after (n = 428) the launch of a fleet of shared e-scooters on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg, VA. This allowed for a pre–post comparison of attitudes and preferences of e-scooter riders and nonusers. E-scooter ridership on campus followed patterns identified in other studies, with a greater share of younger riders, in particular undergraduate students. Stated intention to ride before system launch was greater than actual ridership. The drop-off between prelaunch intention to ride and actual riding was strongest for older age groups, women, and university staff. As in city surveys, the main reasons for riding e-scooters on campus were travel speed and fun of riding. About 30% indicated using e-scooters to ride to parking lots or to access public transport service, indicating their potential as a connector to other modes of transport. Perceptions about convenience, cost, safety, parking, rider behavior, and usefulness of the e-scooter systems were more positive among nonriders after system launch, indicating that pilot projects may improve public perceptions of e-scooters. Building more bike lanes or separate spaces for e-scooters could help move e-scooter riders off sidewalks—a desire expressed by both pedestrians and e-scooter users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Pages335-345
Number of pages11
Volume2675
Edition9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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