An Exploration of the Decline in E-Scooter Ridership after the Introduction of Mandatory E-Scooter Parking Corrals on Virginia Tech's Campus in Blacksburg, VA

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2022-12-23

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MDPI

Abstract

We report shared e-scooter ridership and rider perceptions on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus before and after introduction of mandatory e-scooter parking corrals in January 2022. The analysis relies on a panel of 131 e-scooter riders surveyed in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. Although parking corrals were perceived favorably prior to implementation, perceptions became more negative afterwards. Respondents said corrals were not located where needed, difficult to find, fully occupied, and took too much extra time to use. After parking corrals were introduced, ridership declined 72% overall and also fell for all socio-economic subgroups. The heaviest user groups, like undergraduate males, were most likely to quit. The first study identifying desired and actual egress times for e-scooters, we found that roughly two-thirds of riders desired egress times under 2 min and one quarter under 1 min. Prior to the introduction of parking corrals, 82% of riders reported actual egress times under 2 min, and 43% under 1 min. Those who kept riding after the introduction of e-scooter corrals reported longer actual egress times and a stronger stated desire for egress times under 2 min. Communities should be careful when imposing e-scooter parking restrictions to ensure that e-scooter egress time is sufficiently low—ideally within an easy 2 min walk of popular origins and destinations.

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Buehler, R.; Broaddus, A.; White, E.; Sweeney, T.; Evans, C. An Exploration of the Decline in E-Scooter Ridership after the Introduction of Mandatory E-Scooter Parking Corrals on Virginia Tech's Campus in Blacksburg, VA. Sustainability 2022, 15, 226.