Why Do People Take E-Scooter Trips? Insights on Temporal and Spatial Usage Patterns of Detailed Trip Data

43 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2021

See all articles by Nitesh R. Shah

Nitesh R. Shah

University of Tennessee

Jing Guo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Han D. Lee

University of Tennessee

Christopher Cherry

University of Tennessee

Abstract

Electric scooters (e-scooters) are becoming one of the most popular micromobility options in the United States. Although there is some evidence of increased mobility, reduced carbon emissions, replaced car trips, and associated public health benefits, there is little known about the patterns of e-scooter use. This study proposes a framework for high-resolution analysis of micromobility data based on temporal, spatial, and weather attributes. As a case study, we scrutinized more than one million e-scooter trips of Nashville, Tennessee, from September 1, 2018, to August 31, 2019. Weather data and land use data from the Nashville Travel Demand Model data and scraping of Google Maps Point of Interest (POI) data complemented the trip data. The combination of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and a K-means unsupervised machine learning algorithm identified five distinct e-scooter usage patterns, namely morning work/school, daytime short errand, social, nighttime entertainment district, and utilitarian trips. Among other findings, the most common use of e-scooters in Nashville was daytime short errand trips, contributing to 29% of all e-scooter trips. We found that 7% of all e-scooter trips resembled morning commuting to work or school. Only 16% of trips were classified as Nighttime Entertainment District trips. The average daily number of trips on a typical weekend was 81% higher than a typical weekday. We also found variation in e-scooter usage patterns over a year with high summer ridership patterns. The findings of this study can help city administrations, planners, and micromobility operators to understand when and where people are using e-scooters. Such knowledge can guide them in making data-driven decisions regarding safety, sustainability, and mode substitution of emerging micromobility.

Keywords: e-scooters, micromobility, spatiotemporal analysis, big data, unsupervised machine learning

Suggested Citation

Shah, Nitesh R. and Guo, Jing and Lee, Han D. and Cherry, Christopher, Why Do People Take E-Scooter Trips? Insights on Temporal and Spatial Usage Patterns of Detailed Trip Data. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3988137 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3988137

Nitesh R. Shah

University of Tennessee ( email )

Jing Guo

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Han D. Lee

University of Tennessee ( email )

Christopher Cherry (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee ( email )

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