We’re about half-way through the 120-day electric scooter pilot program and the Portland Bureau of Transportation has embarked on the public outreach phase of its assessment.
Earlier today I received an email from Bird, one of the three companies participating in the pilot. “How was your recent Bird ride in Portland?,” it asked. “The Portland Bureau of Transportation would like to hear about it! Take their survey today for a chance to win one of four $50 Visa gift cards. Your responses will help PBOT determine whether e-scooters contribute to the Portland’s mobility, equity, safety, and climate action goals.”
The email linked to a PBOT survey that asked many detailed questions including: “Why did you try e-scooters for the first time?”, “How often do you ride e-scooters?”, “How often do you use e-scooters to access a bus, MAX, or streetcar?”, “What are the top three trip types for which you use shared e-scooters?”, “If an e-scooter had not been available for your last trip, how would you have made that trip?,” “How did you get to the e-scooter that you rode?”, “Have you reduced the number of automobiles you (or your family) own because of e-scooters?,” and so on.
The survey asked how often I used various travel modes before and after e-scooters arrived. Education was also part of the survey. PBOT wants to know if the laws are understood and how to do a better job informing the public about them. They also ask survey-takers to rank each of the three scooter companies.
One of the most interesting questions showed a graphic of a street cross section and asked where I typically ride my scooters. Then the next question asked where I’d prefer to ride them. I could see the answers to these questions having an influence on whether or not the City of Portland pursues code changes that would allow people to use scooters in parks and on some sidewalks.
This survey is just one tool PBOT will use to decide whether or not to continue — and/or how best to continue — to offer e-scooters in Portland.
Earlier this week PBOT announced a series of four “transportation focus groups for the black community.” One of them will discuss the e-scooter pilot. PBOT says they’ll host three community focus groups on this topic in October; one for people who identify as black, one for the “disability community” and the other for east Portland residents.
PBOT will determine the success of the scooters based on their ability to: reduce private auto use and congestion, prevent fatalities and injuries, expand access to underserved communities, and reduce air pollution.
If you’ve ridden a scooter, please take time to fill out the survey.
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