Bike Infrastructure Key to E-scooter Utilization in Portland – Streetsblog USA
Editor’s Observe: This text initially appeared on Bike Portland and is republished with permission. We suspect that the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s findings might be relevant to communities throughout the nation, and encourage metropolis leaders throughout America to discover comparable questions in their very own locations.
The winding street of shared electrical scooters in Portland has taken one other flip. Right this moment the transportation bureau launched a report (PDF) on scooter utilization and outlined plans for a everlasting system. Among the many findings is that cycling-specific infrastructure is essential to boosting scooter ridership, particularly in locations with high-stress streets like east Portland.
Portland launched e-scooters in summer 2018 as a pilot program. The Portland Bureau of Transportation deemed them a hit and launched a second pilot in spring 2019 that’s set to finish on December thirty first.
With classes discovered in courtship and optimistic indicators that the scooters are a wanted and priceless a part of Portland’s transportation ecosystem, the Bureau needs to quiet down with fewer companions and a longer-term dedication. There are presently six completely different corporations providing scooters in Portland. That is clunky for each customers and PBOT employees to handle. A key advice within the report launched right now says PBOT needs to work with 1-3 corporations for the following 2-3 years.
Among the many takeaways within the report is the impression of motorcycle infrastructure on scooter utilization. Not solely did PBOT discover that the presence of motorcycle lanes led to a lot much less sidewalk-scootering, GPS information exhibits 32% of all scooter mileage happened on protected bike lanes, unprotected bike lanes, bridge bikeways, paths, and/or neighborhood greenways. “E-scooter riders really feel extra comfy when there’s protected infrastructure to journey separate from vehicles,” states the report.
PBOT was additionally capable of examine how ridership information modified with the development of motorcycle infrastructure that was constructed between the primary and second pilots. In Waterfront Park as an illustration, the construction of Better Naito in 2019 led to a 55% enhance in using on Naito and a subsequent 45% lower on the park path (this additionally needed to do with signage warning individuals to remain out of the park and a few “geofencing” from scooter distributors).
The new protected bike lanes on the Halsey-Weidler couplet in Gateway additionally seem to have impacted scooter utilization. PBOT evaluation exhibits a 125% enhance in journeys between 2019 and 2018. And on 102nd the place new bike lanes were installed, there was a 22% enhance in ridership. These will increase come at the same time as general e-scooter ridership was decrease in 2019 than 2018.
These findings present that biking advocates could be smart to embrace scooter riders with the intention to strengthen and diversify their push for extra devoted infrastructure. “Bicycling is usually related to white-dominant tradition,” PBOT writes within the report, “and e-scooters could or could not share that affiliation.”
The advice of a everlasting program makes it clear the Metropolis of Portland sees scooters as an integral a part of the modal combine.
Whereas some scooter journeys exchange bike journeys, information reveals that scooters fill a distinct want: The typical journey size for e-scooter riders is simply over one mile and fewer than 14 minutes; the common (non-electric) bike share journey is over two miles and 25 minutes.
With the local weather change disaster staring us straight within the face lately, PBOT additionally sees scooters as a key method to scale back automotive abuse. The town’s Transportation System Plan requires 475,000 fewer day by day automotive and truck journeys by 2035. Nevertheless even when we succeed with adopted plans, we’ll nonetheless give you a “journey hole” of 63,000 day by day journeys (see graph at proper). “If new mobility companies like e-scooters can present a sexy choice that reduces automotive use and automotive possession, they could assist shut this ‘journey hole’ and meet metropolis congestion and local weather targets,” states the report.
And naturally e-scooter journeys are far more earth-friendly than automotive and truck journeys. PBOT estimates scooter riders have helped Portland decrease carbon emissions by 167 metric tons and have eliminated the equal of 27 passenger vehicles and vans from the streets over the 2019 pilot interval.
Together with the report, PBOT launched a scooter information dashboard and survey. Get all the data and hyperlinks here.