“The results suggest scooters are a popular new transit option for Portlanders and visitors alike,” reads a statement released today by the Portland Bureau of Transportation based on a survey of scooter users. 4,500 people responded to the questionnaire which asked 75,000 people about riding habits, safety behaviors, knowledge of riding laws, and more.
Here are the key findings as shared by PBOT:
— Portlanders are using e-scooters for transportation and recreation. Nearly a third (30 percent) of the Portlanders 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 percent) stated they most frequently used e-scooters for fun/recreation.
— E-scooters are popular with local users. Eighty-five percent of Portlanders said they were “extremely” or “very likely” to recommend e-scooters to a friend.
— 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.
— Among all respondents, e-scooters appear to be more popular among men (62 percent) than women (36 percent). In response to the question, “What gender do you identify with?”, 62 percent of respondents said “man”, and 36 respondents said “woman”.
— 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.
— Portlanders are reducing or considering reducing their auto ownership due to e-scooters. Six percent of users report getting rid of a car because of e-scooters and another 16 percent have considered it.
There’s still work to do when it comes to keeping people out of park paths and trails. The survey found that only 34 percent of riders knew it was illegal to ride in Waterfront Park.
This survey comes out just a week after The Oregonian reported serious concerns from disability rights advocates about scooters and the behavior of the people who ride them.
Three companies — Bird, Skip, and Lime — are currently operating scooters in Portland as part of a pilot program. The scooters have been on the streets since the end of July and as of October 11th, there have been 472,069 trips taken on them with an average trip length of 1.2 miles. The pilot period will end November 20th.
In response to the survey, Bird posted on Twitter today that, “It has been an honor serving the City of Portland and we look forward to continue partnering to get cars off the road and reduce carbon emissions!”
You can read all the survey responses on PBOT’s website.
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