Toy or Tool: Expectations, Impacts, and Contradictions of E-Scooters from a Social-Exclusion Perspective

22 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2023

See all articles by Daniel Oviedo

Daniel Oviedo

University College London

Carolina Moore

University College London

Anastasia Trofimova

University College London

Abstract

Few attempts at introducing new personal transport technologies have made as much noise as the relatively recent appearance of electric scooters in cities as an on-demand shared mobility service supported by digital platforms. In the United Kingdom, urban pilots for shared e-scooter services have been met with significant disruptions stemming from issues that range from the pandemic to regulatory uncertainty, recent political shifts, and slow legislative processes. This paper seeks to address gaps in reliable evidence about e-scooters’ positive and negative contributions to social and environmental development goals using a mixed-methods approach grounded in a framework of Transport-Related Social Exclusion (TRSE). The paper builds on primary data gathered via an online survey among 1,000+ users and non-users of private and shared e-scooters in UK cities and roughly 30 interviews with various stakeholders, both from public and private sectors. We interrogate practices, experiences, and expectations of a myriad of stakeholders in the UK’s urban micromobility universe through eight dimensions of TRSE that encompass, pricing, spatial and temporal coverage of e-scooters as well as issues associated with crime, violence, and discrimination linked with these new modes of transport. The paper expands on current efforts concerned almost exclusively with the environmental, road safety, and reductionist ‘inclusivity’ considerations, adding depth and nuance grounded on key social considerations such as intersectionality, deprivation, and social and cultural values.

Keywords: Transport, micro-mobility, Social Exclusion, e-scooters

Suggested Citation

Oviedo, Daniel and Moore, Carolina and Trofimova, Anastasia, Toy or Tool: Expectations, Impacts, and Contradictions of E-Scooters from a Social-Exclusion Perspective. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4363779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4363779

Daniel Oviedo (Contact Author)

University College London ( email )

Carolina Moore

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Anastasia Trofimova

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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