E-Scooter Scenarios: Evaluating the Potential Mobility Benefits of Shared Dockless Scooters in Chicago

This study examines the potential for public e-scooter sharing systems to fill mobility needs within and between Chicago neighborhoods. It explores how availability of this micro-mode of transportation could influence travel time, cost, and the convenience of trips relative to other active and shared-use modes including walking, bicycling, bikeshare, and public transit. To draw conclusions, it uses the Chaddick Institute’s multimodal travel model to evaluate approximately 30,000 randomly selected hypothetical trips between locations on the North, South, and West sides of the city. Different assumptions about the quantity and distribution of shared dockless e-scooters are considered to assess the sensitivity of the results. The analysis shows that: (1) On trips between 0.5 and 2 miles, e-scooters would be a particularly strong alternative to private automobiles. In parking-constrained environments, the introduction of e-scooters could increase the number of trips in which non-auto options are competitive with driving from 47% to 75%. The cost of using an e-scooter, inclusive of tax, would likely be around $1.10 per trip plus $1.33 per mile, making them cost-effective on short-distance trips. By filling a gap in mobility, e-scooters have the potential to increase the number of car-free households in Chicago. (2) Due to their higher relative cost on trips over three miles, e-scooters would likely not result in significant diversion from public transit on longer-distance trips, particularly services operating to and from jobs in the transit-rich Loop business district. Often, the use of scooters on these longer journeys would likely be short connections to nearby transit stops. (3) The benefits of e-scooters can differ widely between geographic areas that are only a few blocks apart due to the differential access of these areas to transit lines and bus routes. (4) E-scooters would make about 16% more jobs reachable within 30 minutes compared to the number of employment opportunities currently accessible by public transit and walking alone. The gains tend to be markedly different across the North, South, and West study areas. By fostering insights into how e-scooters could influence travel time, cost, and convenience, these results can help set the stage for an informed discussion on the many tradeoffs associated with this micro-mode of transportation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 32p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01690806
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 15 2019 10:41AM