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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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PBOT News Release: Two e-scooter companies qualify for modest fleet expansion

Bird qualifies for 525 e-scooters, expected to deploy today 

 

(Aug. 15, 2019) The Portland Bureau of Transportation has approved a modest expansion of the number of e-scooters in the city by two companies: Bolt and Spin. The companies qualified for the new scooters after meeting the criteria for incentives put in place by PBOT. The incentives encourage companies to advance city safety, equity and environmental goals. The additional e-scooters could be deployed as soon as today.

PBOT is working to ease congestion and provide environmentally friendly options for people to get around the city. The yearlong e-scooter pilot program is designed to assess whether e-scooters support these goals

Several cities provide incentives for e-scooter companies to increase the number of rides per scooter, which increases the time e-scooters spend in use rather than parked. Portland's e-scooter pilot program, which started April 26, is unique in providing incentives for companies to advance safety, equity, and environmental goals, in addition to utilization.

Bolt can deploy 14 additional scooters for meeting the partnership incentive. Spin can deploy can deploy 116 additional scooters for offering safety workshops and meeting the partnership incentive. Lime’s data is still under review.

Bolt has been operating in Portland with 200 scooters. Spin has been operating in Portland with 525 e-scooters.

In advance of making the decision to allow an increase in fleet size, PBOT reviewed data from the first 10 weeks of the pilot program. Data included collision and injury reports, community feedback and reports, enforcement efforts, and utilization of the scooters. Findings from the first 10 weeks include:

 

  • Riders took 253,690 trips and traveled 307,456.5 miles. Companies report to have hundreds of thousands of riders. From the 2018 pilot, PBOT learned that e-scooters replaced driving and ride-hailing trips. 34 percent of Portland riders and 48 percent of visitors took an e-scooter instead of driving a personal car or using Uber, Lyft, or taxi.
  • Multnomah County Health Department identified 46 visits to emergency departments and urgent care clinics that were related to e-scooters. Their analysis includes all e-scooter related visits, including privately owned as well as rented e-scooters. The department will continue to monitor injury visits throughout the pilot program.
  • PBOT received 16 reports of e-scooter collisions. These reports--from individuals, companies, or the news media--may overlap with the injuries reported by Multnomah County Health Department.
  • E-scooter companies have received 903 reports from the public regarding parking issues and rider behavior. PBOT has received 371 emails from the public regarding the e-scooter pilot program, primarily regarding sidewalk riding and improper parking.   
  • A review of where trips started in the city suggests that shared e-scooters are not reliably available outside the central city and some neighborhoods in East Portland. 

 

Demand for e-scooter use spans Portland, but the most frequent e-scooter riding happens in areas where they are most available

Data from the 2019 e-scooter pilot show where e-scooter trips have started in Portland. The first map shows where at least 1 trip has started, suggesting there is interest in riding e-scooters in many areas of Portland. The second map shows where 25 or more trips have started. This map suggests that shared e-scooters are not reliably available outside the Central City and some neighborhoods in East Portland, but there is demand for e-scooters citywide. 

Map 1: Portlanders have ridden shared e-scooters at least once in neighborhoods across the city, indicating potential demand for this new transportation option in many areas.

Map of Portland showing e-scooter demand

Map 2: Shared e-scooters have been ridden at least 25 times in locations indicated by each dot on this map. High e-scooter use in the Central City (brown dots) and East Portland (blue dots) corresponds with areas where e-scooters are more frequently available, in part because PBOT requires daily deployment of e-scooters in East Portland, an area that has historically been underserved by new transportation options.

Map of Portland showing frequent e-scooter use

Map 2

This year, in response to public input during the 2018 pilot program, PBOT regulatory staff and parking enforcement staff have been issuing warnings and fines to e-scooter companies, which are passing them onto their riders. From April 26 through July 31, PBOT issued 340 total warnings and fines, mostly for illegal parking or sidewalk riding.

Also today, PBOT is permitting Bird to deploy 525 e-scooters, based on its successful second-round application. Bird was among several companies that did not quality for a permit to start service in April. PBOT invited all unsuccessful applicants to re-apply.

Throughout the yearlong pilot, PBOT is responding to community concerns. We heard the community wanted an online feedback form similar to the 2018 pilot, and that is now available.

You can share your feedback and public reports online through the E-Scooter Pilot Feedback form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/escooterpdxfeedback. The public can also continue to submit feedback via email at e-scooter@portlandoregon.gov and phone 503-823-4663.

In total, today's announcement adds 655 new e-scooters to fleets in Portland, bringing the citywide number of permitted scooters to 2,630, up from the 1,975 that have been allowed since June 14. This is similar to the number of scooters permitted in the 2018 e-scooter pilot (2,043 e-scooters), which generated more than 700,000 trips.

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation