Who is Using Micromobility and Why?

Research Team: Giovanni Circella (lead) and Kailai Wang

University: UC Davis

Problem Statement: Micromobility (any mode of transportation via very light vehicles —including electric scooters, electric skateboards, and bicycles) is changing transportation in various ways. For example, micromobility provides new mobility options, can reduce commuting times and carbon emissions, and promotes the use of active transportation modes. Depending on how micromobility options are deployed, they can serve as a way to enhance accessibility and quality of life in cities as well. In order to maximize the benefits of micromobility systems, there is a need to better understand the various population segments that currently use these modes (particularly shared e-scooter) or have a propensity to do so in the future as well as learn more about the different impacts the adoption of these modes may have on cities (e.g., safety, parking, infrastructure).

Project Description: This project will make a first step towards delineating the uptake of micromobility as a mode choice within the broader sustainability paradigm for the transportation sector. The research team will analyze a variety of data collected via two different channels: 1) survey data collected via a smartphone link, including demographic and psychographic data, self-reported travel behavior, and preferences relating to the use of shared micromobility, and 2) data provided by shared micromobility companies pertaining to users that have authorized access to their trip records. The analyses will address a number of research objectives, including (a) understanding the socio-economic, psychographic, and other characteristics of current micromobility users; (b) identifying the changes in the characteristics of user groups over time (e.g., innovators, early adopters, later adopters, laggards, emergence of “super-users”); and (c) exploring the impact of micromobility adoption on the level of use of other travel modes in cities.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $20,112

Project Partner(s): The World Resources Institute