North American Micromobility Panel

The rise in bicycling and bike share services in North American cities is a sign of latent demand for bicycling. The more recent rise in dockless bike and scooter shares (micromobility services) indicates the latent demand for “micro” transportation options could be substantial. Given that substitution of bicycling, scootering, and other small vehicle travel for car travel will help cities reach numerous planning goals (e.g., accessibility, emissions, climate, health, equity, etc.), there is a clear need for understanding the implications of these mobility services. This is especially true in states like California where the rise in micromobility services also represents a growing workforce and capital investment. While micromobility services have potential for decreasing car travel and thus many negative externalities associated with car travel, the extent to which these services decrease car travel is currently uncertain. The extent to which these services improve or decrease equitable access to everyday activities is also an important question many cities currently face. Quantifying the magnitude of micromobility service effects on travel behavior is an important first step for cities and regions to understand the role these services should play as mobility options. This project focuses on four primary research questions:

  1. What travel modes do people shift from when they use micromobility services? Do those mode shifts relate to trip purpose or personal characteristics? How long lasting are the shifts?
  2. How frequently do people use micromobility services? Does frequency of use change over time?
  3. How different are users and non-users in terms of attitudes and travel behavior? What potential barriers exist for widespread adoption? How do attitudes about micromobility services change over time?
  4. How do variations in micromobility services (docked vs. dockless, conventional vs. electric assisted bicycles, bikes vs. scooters, Lime vs. JUMP, etc.) differ in their appeal to users and in the attitudes of non-users? Do people use these services for different purposes? How do attitudes and perceptions relate to the use of specific types of services?

Research Area