The Portland Bureau of Transportation has released the first major part of evaluating the shared electric scooter pilot program.
PBOT surveyed nearly 75,000 e-scooter customers. The survey asked customers about their riding habits, scooter safety, and whether they replaced car trips with scooter rides.
More than 4,500 people responded, and the results suggest scooters are a popular new transit option for Portlanders and visitors alike.
John Brady, Director of Communications at PBOT, says among the key findings are:
- Portlanders are using e-scooters for transportation and recreation. Nearly a third (30%) of the people who responded to the survey said they most frequently used e-scooters to commute – to get to work, school, or a work-related meeting. Another third (28%) stated they most frequently used e-scooters for fun/recreation.
- E-scooters are replacing automobile trips. Thinking of their last e-scooter trip, 34 percent of Portlanders said they would have driven a personal car (19 percent) or hailed a taxi, Uber or Lyft (15 percent).
- The auto trip replacement numbers are even higher among tourists and visitors (48 percent). Thinking of their last e-scooter trip, 34 percent of visitors would have taken a taxi, Uber or Lyft, and 14 percent would have driven a personal vehicle had e-scooters not been available.
- All respondents – Portlanders and visitors – prefer to ride e-scooters on the street, in the bike lane. Riders’ stated preference was for the bike lane over even off-street trails. Riding on sidewalks was users’ least preferred option.
- E-scooters are bringing new Portlanders to the bike lane. Forty-five percent of survey respondents reported “never” biking and 78 percent had never used BIKETOWN prior to using e-scooters.
The majority of users know the e-scooter laws, except for riding on waterfront trails. Users scored between 77 and 95 percent correctly on all e-scooter law questions except for rules that prohibit riding in City Parks and on the waterfront trails. Only 51 percent thought riding was illegal in parks and 34 percent thought riding on waterfront trails was illegal.
PBOT’s evaluation of the e-scooter pilot is ongoing. Other components of the evaluation will include focus groups, rider behavior observations, trip data analysis, safety data analysis (including reported crashes), and analysis of feedback and complaints submitted through the project’s online form.
The City is also collecting trip data from the companies. As of October 11, 2018, 472,069 trips have been taken on e-scooters in Portland, with an average trip length of 1.2 miles.
A summary of responses to all of the survey questions can be found online at portlandoregondotgov/transportation/scootersurvey.
More information about the scooter pilot, including an FAQ can be found at portlandoregon.gov/transportation/e-scooter.