Shared Micromobility in the U.S.: 2018

April 22, 2019

National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)

T he National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), an association of 69 major North American cities, released its annual comprehensive count of all shared micromobility (shared bike and e-scooter) trips in the United States.

Key findings from NACTO’s 2018 shared micromobility ridership report:
  • More than twice as many trips—84 million—were taken on shared micromobility in the U.S. as compared to the year before. 36.5 million trips were taken on station-based bike share, an increase of 9% from 2017. 9 million trips were taken on dockless shared bikes. 38.5 million trips were taken on shared scooters, reflecting the wide proliferation of vehicles in many cities.
  • Dockless pedal bikes have largely disappeared from most U.S. cities; in part replaced by shared scooters. Approximately 44,000 dockless pedal bikes were on the ground in the U.S. at the end of 2017, most of which are no longer in use. Most dockless bike share companies retooled their fleets to focus on e-scooters, and new e-scooter focused companies emerged. There are now tens of thousands of e-scooters on the ground in U.S. cities.
  • E-bikes, while limited in rollout, have been heavily used in the cities with substantial e-bike fleets. The shared micromobility vehicles with the most use (as measured by rides/vehicle/day) are e-bikes, used twice as frequently as pedal bikes. Many bike share companies have plans to rapidly expand their e-bike fleets, with Minneapolis planning to transition entirely to an e-bike-based fleet from pedal bikes, and New York City planning for a fleet that is a third electric.
  • The largest bike share systems are more heavily utilized, on a per-bike basis, than smaller systems; scooter share systems have the opposite correlation. The largest bike share systems see their bikes utilized, on average, twice per day or more (including in winter months), and most of the smallest systems see their bikes utilized less than once per day. For scooters, initial data shows the inverse: the largest fleets of shared scooters were used less than once per day, and the smallest fleets of shared scooters were used more than four times per day. Bike share benefits from a network effect of a dense network of conveniently placed bikes over a large area; scooter share ridership does not yet seem to benefit from a network effect.
  • Station-based bike share is most heavily utilized during traditional rush hours. Scooter share rides are more evenly dispersed throughout the day, with the highest ridership on Fridays and weekends. These findings suggest that people are using bike share and scooter share for different trip types, a finding reinforced by surveys in cities of bike share and scooter share users.
NACTO’s report also details average trip duration, distances, and prices per ride, and includes comprehensive charts and graphs showing the growth of shared micromobility across the U.S., as well as the changing landscape of this fast-growing and rapidly-evolving form of transportation. NACTO’s 2018 shared micromobility ridership report was funded by the Better Bike Share Partnership and by ClimateWorks foundation.

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