Nearly Half of E-Scooter Riders Didn’t Ride Bikes, New Survey Says

The new technology appears to be effective in getting cars off the road.

A new survey says nearly half of Portland's e-scooter riders are new to the bike lane.

It's been three months since e-scooters hit Portland streets. The newly released survey results from Portland Bureau of Transportation reveal the technology is being rapidly embraced by both locals and tourists.

A key finding from the survey—which compiled responses from over 4,500 Bird, Lime and Skip users—is that e-scooters appear to be effective in getting people out of cars.

Related: Scooters Are Making People Mad—and They Might Spur the Next Breakthrough in Portland Transportation

Thirty-four percent of Portlanders said their last e-scooter trip replaced what would have been a taxi, Uber or Lyft ride. About 48 percent of tourists who responded to the survey said their last e-scooter trip replaced a car ride. As well, a third of Portland respondents said they frequently use e-scooters to commute, while another third said they use e-scooters recreationally.

Forty-five percent say they never biked previously, while 78 percent report never having used Biketown, the city's bike-share program.

That's important because the big public policy goal of the scooter program is to increase alternatives to cars—and increase pressure to improve bike lanes.

The survey results—which analyze the 472,069 rides that have been taken to date—are part of PBOT's evaluation of e-scooter's long-term viability in Portland.

The city's pilot program will run until Nov. 20, at which time the city will take scooters off the street while deciding whether or not to indefinitely adopt the new technology into Portland's transit system.

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