Is Micromobility Being Used in Place of Car Trips in Daily Travel (or “Trip Chains”)?

Research Team: Dillon Fitch (lead) and Hossain Mohiuddin

UC Campus(es): UC Davis

Problem Statement: The transportation landscape is rapidly changing with the emergence of innovative mobility services such as ridehailing, dockless electric bike-share, and scooter-share. Micromobility (electric bike-share and scooter-share) systems are an important part of this new mobility revolution. Since 2017, there has been massive growth in micromobility trips. At the same time, individual travel patterns are becoming more complex with the introduction of these new innovative travel modes. One way to assess the complexity of an individual’s travel pattern can be through analysis of their trip chains (i.e., a sequence of trip segments beginning at ‘home’ and continuing until the traveler returns ‘home’). Previous research suggests that complex trip chains require flexible travel modes and that cars are preferable to other modes for such trips. However, more nuanced research suggests that since 35 percent of car trips are under 2 miles in the US more and most micromobility trips are shorter than 2 miles, micromobility can easily substitute for car trips and encourage individuals to forgo driving.

Project Description: The researchers hypothesize that micromobility services are enabling and supporting complex travel patterns by substituting fcar travel in complex trip chains and consequently contributing to environmental sustainability. They will examine this hypothesis by reconstructing daily trip chains of both micromobility users and non-users using detailed GPS travel diary data collected from the American Micromobility Panel survey. Then, they will classify trip chains into simple and complex chains based on the number of stops and activities included within the chain and identify the modes used in the trip to see how they differ by mode.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $25,000