The Emergence of Shared E-scooters: Prioritizing Safety


Innovation continues to create efficient and sustainable means of travel. Among these alternative mobility choices are e-scooters. To accommodate for this burgeoning new transportation market, cities have been tasked with adopting new policies and regulations to promote safety and multi-modal integration. Some cities have been reluctant to permit shared e-scooter companies without agreed upon stipulations involving publicly shared data, safety education, e-scooter supply limitations, and subsidized rides for low-income residents. A survey conducted by the City of Oakland in 2019 found that 41% of e-scooter trips would have been taken by car if riders did not have the option to use e-scooters. The survey also showed that 37% of riders use e-scooters to make connection to public transportation at least once a week. “According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, e-scooter riders logged 86 million trips in 2019.” Allowing for the growth of inter-connections between transit networks while reducing acreage previously reserved for motor-vehicle parking may enable cities to reallocate space for multi-modal transportation as well as additional social welfare needs, such as housing. They also have the potential to provide first/last mile solutions for getting to and from public transit. E-scooters show promise for providing new opportunities to connect people and transit systems, but they also will require deliberate and effective efforts to ensure safety to prevent injury.

Publication date: 
October 29, 2022
Publication type: 
Research Brief