Do Slow Streets Encourage More Dockless Travel? Evidence from Electric Scooter Usage in Four Cities

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many cities across the US reallocated street spaces for active transportation such as walking, bicycling, and scootering, including by electric bikes and scooters. Slow Streets, projects that limit through-traffic access for motor vehicles to provide a safer space for other travelers, were implemented at an unprecedented speed and scale. This analysis of pandemic-era Slow Street dockless electric scooter (e-scooter) use offers insights that may assist decisionmakers. A research team at the University of Southern California collaborated with Lime, an e-scooter company, to analyze Slow Streets programs in the cities of Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland. Using two statistical approaches, they examined dockless e-scooter travel at four different times of day and overall weekly and monthly averages of dockless e-scooter trips. This policy brief summarizes the findings from that research and provides policy implications.