Rental scooters reduced car use in Minneapolis, report finds

Last year's scooter pilot project is recommended for expansion in 2019.
Author:
Publish date:

Almost 75,000 people in Minneapolis rented a scooter during last summer's pilot project, with many saying they'd reduced their car use as a result.

Electric scooter sharing services Lime and Bird arrived abruptly in the city last July, and judging by a report discussed by Minneapolis City Council on Tuesday night, both were a huge success.

Using data from both companies, the city found that 225,543 scooter rides were taken between July and November and there were 74,877 unique users, who averaged 1.34 miles per ride.

But rather than them being used for a fun jaunt around the city's streets and bike trails, 95 percent of riders reported using them to reach a "real destination," such as home, work, school, restaurants or transit stops.

The report therefore concluded that the scooter project is helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars, with 42 percent of almost 1,000 users surveyed saying they had reduced use of their personal vehicles or taxis as a result of their scooter use.

Concerns over the potential for scooter-related accidents were not borne out by the data either, with only 4 crashes involving the scooters reported last year, along with 9 "near-misses."

Follow Bring Me The News in YouTube

Scooters to more than triple in number

The city is now looking to expand access to scooters in 2019-20.

By the end of October, a maximum of 600 electric scooters were available to rent in Minneapolis and on the U of M campus.

This year, the maximum will be capped at 2,000, after it was approved by the Minneapolis City Council's transportation and public works committee on Tuesday.

Bird and Lime are the current main players in the market, but the city is offering an opportunity for at least two more scooter-sharing companies to enter the market.

There will be improvements made, however, to ensure the scooters can be accessed more equitably.

Scooter use Minneapolis

The map above shows that the majority of trips were taken in the downtown and U of M campus areas.

Of those who responded to city's survey, 88 percent of scooter users identified as white and 70 percent had incomes over $50,000, while 19 percent have incomes less than $25,000.

This year, there will be efforts made to make more scooters accessible to people with lower incomes, with the city requesting at least 600 of the vehicles (30 percent) be placed in areas of concentrated poverty.

Only 40 percent – 800 in total – will be placed in downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

Bird was charging scooter users $1 to unlock a scooter using its app, and then 15 cents for every minute of ride time.

Next Up

House for sale

Zillow to start making offers on Twin Cities homes based off its 'Zestimates'

The Twin Cities property market is seriously hot right now.

Hennepin County Medical Center, HCMC

Man killed in early morning crash on Minneapolis' Cedar Avenue

Minneapolis police responded to the crash at 2600 Cedar Avenue South early Friday morning.

ambulance

2 killed in separate incidents in Minneapolis hours apart Thursday

One man was killed in a triple shooting, the other fatally stabbed in an apparent domestic incident.

duluth police department

'Dangerous situation' in Duluth, public asked to stay away after suspect kills K9

It started on Thursday evening and has continued into Friday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher basketball

Gophers offense disappears in loss to Northwestern

The Gophers are quickly falling out of NCAA tournament contention.

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.

Ostroushko

Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras

Costco_Wholesale_Store_(34635636926)

Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Related

Lime scooters

Scooter companies Spin, Lime suddenly raise prices in Twin Cities

It'll cost you more per minute to rent a scooter than before.

Rental scooters are back in St. Paul – this time legally

Lime is the first company to re-introduce scooters to St. Paul streets.

Rental scooters suddenly arrive on Twin Cities streets, surprising officials

City officials have been scrambling to react to Bird's abrupt arrival.

Mayor tells Bird to remove scooters from St. Paul streets ... for now

The city wants the company to wait until it passes rules for e-scooter companies.

flickr-lime-scooters-austin

St. Paul welcomes back rental scooters

The city may not have bike sharing, but there will be scooters to zip around on.

flickr-lime-scooters-austin

Disability activist files lawsuit over rental scooters in Minneapolis

He says they present a hazard to disabled sidewalk users.

Thief breaks into WWE wrestlers' rental car in Minneapolis

It was a cold ride to the airport for Lince Dorado and Cedric Alexander.