- The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has released the results of a survey regarding its six-month dockless e-scooter pilot program. More than 4,500 people responded to the survey, which asked scooter users about their perceptions of scooter popularity and safety, riding habits and whether they replaced car trips with scooter trips.
- PBOT determined that the scooters are used both for transportation and recreation and that they are replacing car trips. The survey found scooter riders are primarily male (62% of respondents identified as male while 36% identified as female), and 62% of respondents are "extremely likely" to recommend shared e-scooters to a friend.
- PBOT's evaluation of the e-scooter pilot is ongoing. It will release an overall findings report after the pilot ends on Nov. 20.
Municipalities don't always solicit public feedback about new programs they roll out and employees often have to make their best educated guess about how to move forward. But this survey gives the city input from thousands of people to help inform how the scooter program is handled after the pilot ends, or whether such a program should even continue.
In addition to questions about demographics and scooter riding habits and preferences, the survey asked riders about their knowledge of scooter-related laws in Portland. The city determined that the majority of people know the laws, except for a couple that prohibit riding in city parks or on waterfront trails. Riders were also asked about their helmet use, and less than 17% report wearing helmets all the time, and nearly 45% never wear helmets.
While PBOT concluded that scooter trips are replacing car trips, it's worth noting that the car trips aren't necessarily single-occupant personal vehicle trips. Respondents also reduced their use of car-share programs like Zipcar or Car2Go, and their use of ride-share services like Uber and Lyft.