Study Highlights US Cities Ripe for Micromobility

The top metro areas that could benefit from ebike and escooter sharing.

Red Jump Bike
Researchers say micromobility services, including ebike share, could replace half of all short-distance car trips in the US.Unsplash

A new study identifies the top 25 US cities where micromobility services like shared bikes, ebikes, and escooters have the greatest potential impact to reduce the number of daily car trips.

Conducted by Kirkland, Washington-based INRIX Research, the study analyzed the proportion of existing trips in metro areas that are 3 miles or less. The study’s authors noted that escooters are frequently used for trips between a half-mile and a mile, while bicycle trips are often 1 to 3 miles.

Analyzing 50 million-plus car trips taken during October 2018, INRIX found that 48 percent of all car trips in the 25 most congested US cities were less than 3 miles. “If a fraction of these vehicle trips were replaced with micromobility trips, American cities could reap significant benefits,” the authors wrote. Those benefits include decreased vehicle emissions, lower traffic congestion, and improved accessibility for nondrivers.

The study’s top 10 cities for micromobility potential were: 1) Honolulu, Hawaii; 2) New Orleans, Louisiana; 3) Nashville, Tennessee; 4) Chicago, Illinois; 5) Charlotte, North Carolina; 6) New York, New York; 7) Portland, Oregon; 8) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; 9) Los Angeles, California; and 10) San Francisco, California.

INRIX Research
The researchers analyzed more than 50 million car trips taken during October 2018.Source: INRIX Research

The researchers also stated that micromobility could replace 50 percent of all short-distance vehicle trips (0 to 3 miles) in the United States.

While the study’s authors emphasized the importance of identifying cities ripe to adopt or bolster micromobility, they also noted that not every type of share service is a proper fit for any and all metro areas.

“…[N]uance is needed in their adoption. Not all modes and deployment strategies are equal in all environments (e.g., scooters on cobblestone roads or free-floating bikes parked on crowded sidewalks),” they wrote.

The study also analyzes micromobility potential in Germany and the United Kingdom, and provides city case studies on Los Angeles, New York, London, and Munich. To download the full report, visit the INRIX Research website.