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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Micromobility Trip Characteristics, Transit Connections, and COVID-19 Effects

  • Author(s): Fukushige, Tatsuya, MS;
  • Fitch, Dillon T., PhD;
  • Mohiuddin, Hossain, MS;
  • Andersen, Hayden, BS;
  • Jenn, Alan, PhD
  • et al.

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While micromobility services (e.g., bikeshare, e-bike share, e-scooter share) hold great potential for providing clean travel, estimating the effects of those services on vehicle miles traveled and reducing greenhouse gases is challenging. To address some of the challenges, this study examined survey, micromobility, and transit data collected from 2017 to 2021 in approximately 20 U.S. cities. Micromobility fleet utilization ranged widely from 0.7 to 12 trips per vehicle per day, and the average trip distance was 0.8 to 3.6 miles. The median (range) rates at which micromobility trips substituted for other modes were 41% (16–71%) for car trips, 36% (5–48%) for walking, and 8% (2–35%) for transit, 5% (2–42%) for no trip. In most cities, the mean actual trip distance was approximately 1.5 to 2 times longer than the mean distance of a line connecting origin to destination. There was a weak and unclear connection between micromobility use and transit use that requires further study to more clearly delineate, but micromobility use had a stronger positive relationship to nearby rail use than to nearby bus use in cities with rail and bus service. The COVID-19 pandemic led to more moderate declines in docked than in dockless bike-share systems. Metrics that would enable better assessment of the impacts of micromobility are vehicle miles traveled and emissions of micromobility fleets and their service vehicles, and miles and percentage of micromobility trips that connect to transit or substitute for car trips.

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