Portland State University’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) has been on the front lines of electric bike research since long before “e-bike” was the household term it is today. To help guide this work, researchers have long relied on feedback from e-bike users across the country.
TREC has released two e-bike surveys in the past — in 2013 and 2018 — and now, with the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and advocacy group People for Bikes, they’re launching a third. In addition to helping researchers figure out how to get more people on electric bikes, participants in this survey also have a shot at some cool prizes.
“The survey is intended to provide a snapshot of the motivation, use, and experience of e-bike owners in the US and Canada,” TREC graduate student Cameron Bennett told BikePortland. “This edition includes new questions concerning purchase incentives, e-bike class, and maintenance, and updated questions on travel behavior. We anticipate providing results from this survey later this year.”
E-bikes have become a lot more popular since the last time researchers conducted this survey. In a 2017 BikePortland article about TREC’s e-bike research, Jonathan theorized that in a few years we wouldn’t “remember what our bikeways look like without [e-bikes],” and in retrospect, this is certainly true. Now, electric bikes are ubiquitous in bike lanes in Portland and beyond, and upcoming e-bike rebate programs indicate that the tide isn’t turning anytime soon. It’s not just bike aficionados and industry insiders riding with electric assists these days, so this survey should be able to encapsulate a broader audience.
According to TREC, the data from this survey will be used to “create better policies, legislation, and infrastructure for e-bike users.”
“Your responses to the survey will be used to better understand what types of e-bikes are in use in the United States and Canada, how they are being bought and used, and who is using them,” a TREC statement on the survey states. “You will also be asked about your experiences riding your e-bike and your feelings concerning safety and accessibility on the bike.”
Here at BikePortland, we’ll eagerly await the results of this survey: TREC’s e-bike research is always informative and interesting, and during such a pivotal time for electric bikes (and bikes in general) in Portland, it is crucial to have up-to-date data about how people are riding their e-bikes. As a relatively new e-bike owner myself, I filled the survey out — it didn’t take very long, and the questions were engaging, so just do it!
Once you complete the survey, you’ll have the opportunity to enter to win one of 50 $20 Visa gift cards and one of three Tops Designs backpacks with People for Bikes branding. You can find the survey here.
The survey was rather long and it assumes that you own a car, that you don’t have the option of using Amtrak, and that you haven’t substantially modified your ebike, but it is pretty thorough.