A year ago, barely any Portlanders had heard of an e-scooter, let alone rode on one. In July 2018 the City of Portland launched a 4-month pilot program with e-scooters to determine whether this new form of clean transportation is a feasible option for Portland. At Forth’s January networking event we invited guest speaker Briana Orr, E-Scooter Pilot Program Manager from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to discuss the findings from the pilot and the future of e-scooters in Portland.
Portland’s roads, Briana pointed out, are not getting larger. This means that the City and its residents must look to other forms of transit to reduce traffic. The goals of the e-scooter pilot were to reduce private motor vehicle use and congestion, prevent fatalities and injuries, expand access for underserved communities, and reduce air pollution.
The three scooter companies that participated in the e-scooter pilot were Lime, Bird and Skip; they placed over 2,000 scooters around the city. Briana shared the pilot’s results, data gathered from citywide surveys, focus groups and the scooter companies. Some of the key findings are:
- Riders logged over 800,000 miles and the average number of daily rides was 5,885.
- 62% of polled residents found the pilot positive.
- Most scooter riders would have walked, biked or driven in place of the scooters.
- Some of the challenges included improper parking of the scooters, sidewalk riding and a lack of use by lower-income communities.
PBOT will be initiating a second, year-long pilot program that will begin in spring 2019. PBOT elected for a second pilot to continue the evaluation of whether e-scooters contribute to Portland’s climate goals and will evaluate the use of scooters in the colder months. You can view PBOT’s full report here.
You can view Briana’s presentation here: