Understand usage patterns of e-scooter sharing and policy implications

Since the debut of e-scooter sharing in 2017, hundreds of cities worldwide embraced this transportation mode because e-scooter sharing offers a faster way and can serve longer-range trips than bike sharing. However, e-scooter sharing programs have been criticized due to improper parking and interference with other street users (pedestrian and vehicles). Meanwhile, some surveys show that many users ride e-scooters to replace walking or taking public transit. Such mode shift does not bring environmental benefit and even worse, the reduced exercises may negatively impact human health. E-scooter sharing was introduced to the City of Tampa at the end of May 2019 as a one-year pilot program. The city is interested in understanding the performance of the program and public opinions towards e-scooter sharing. In this study, taking the e-scooter sharing program in the City of Tampa as an example, the research team designed a survey questionnaire to obtain data from both users and non-users. By analyzing the survey data, the team attempts to understand user behaviors, including the main factors leading to the use of the program, the users’ habit of using active transportations after riding shared e-scooters, and mode shift due to the introduction of e-scooter sharing program. The research outcomes will answer some of the open questions in existing literature and help city managers better regulate and enforce e-scooter sharing programs. In later November 2019, 5 months after the launch, a survey was disseminated to the general public. For e-scooter sharing users, they were asked to answer questions regarding using experience, safety concern, mode shift, collision experience, and sociodemographic information. For non-users, besides sociodemographic information, they were asked about the reasons for them not using e-scooters and concerns towards the program. To address the research interests, the team specifically asked users the frequency of using e-scooters, and how has the use of active transportation (including walking, use of bike share and use of private bike) changed since first using shared e-scooter, and if the e-scooter program was not available, what other modes they would have used for their e-scooter trips. The team will computer descriptive statistics of survey responses to provide an overview of user’s riding behaviors and change of using active transportations. To gain a deeper understanding, random-parameter ordered probit models will be estimated with dependent variables of the usage of e-scooters, usage of active transportations after using e-scooters respectively, and mode shift responses. The explanatory variables include sociodemographic characteristics, e-scooter experience and behavior, and trip purposes. The estimated models are expected to identify several significant factors that contribute to higher e-scooter usage, use of active transportation, and mode shift. Similar analysis has been performed before on bike sharing systems. The team will compare the results of e-scooter sharing and bike sharing to see if the major factors are different and if the models perform different for these two types of sharing modes.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $135000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:


    Washington DC,   United States 
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of South Florida, Tampa

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    4202 E. Flowler Avenue, ENB 118
    Tampa, FL  United States  33620-5350
  • Principal Investigators:

    Zhang, Yu

  • Start Date: 20200401
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210331
  • Actual Completion Date: 20210331
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01735306
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747119
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 30 2020 3:15PM