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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Utilizing E-Scooters to Reduce Carbon Emissions Attributable to the Transportation Sector in Santa Monica

  • Author(s): Browne, Kerry
  • Kaji, Daisuke
  • Kaplan, Hank
  • Luo, Jun
  • Tanikura, Makoto
  • et al.

The novel nature of shared mobility devices has produced concerns and questions relating to their safety, equity, and environmental sustainability. To determine the extent to which e-scooters might be used to effectively reduce carbon emissions in Santa Monica, California, our team engaged in an extensive review of the relevant literature, conducted interviews with key stakeholders and subject matter experts, and analyzed data representing more than 3 million e-scooter trips in Santa Monica as well as over 6,000 responses to surveys issued to device riders as well as to non-riding members of the community. Ultimately, we recommend two priority options that are immediately actionable, highly effective, and will not worsen safety or equity outcomes: optimizing shared mobility drop zones and encouraging the use of fuel-efficient vehicles employed for e-scooter and e-bike transport. Our priority recommendations as well as the menu of policy options we outline may be adapted to improve e-scooter sustainability in jurisdictions seeking to capitalize on this new mobility mode while curtailing carbon emissions.

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