E-scooters change travel behaviour, claims Spin survey


Data released today by Spin, the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Company, shows that riders across Essex have shifted their travel behaviour since the introduction of the shared e-scooter hire scheme.

E-scooters are part of Essex County Council’s (ECC) Safer Greener Healthier campaign and the UK wide Department for Transport trials and they are an alternative mode of transport for many in Essex already.

This “mode shift” is expected to reduce the number of cars on the road and deliver a significant environmental impact across the region. More than three-quarters (82%) of Spin users have opted for a ride with an e-scooter instead of driving alone at least once since the scheme has launched. Furthermore, had the hire scheme not been available in Essex, one-third (31%) of the respondents would have used a car for their most recent journey instead of a scooter.

Survey data shows that e-scooters form an essential part of multimodal journeys where people reach their destinations by using more than one means of transport. During a typical week, half of the riders take two to ten e-scooter journeys in Spin’s service areas. With nearly half of the riders (44%) using an e-scooter to connect with public transport at least once – the findings underscore the scheme’s importance in the towns’ broader transportation eco-systems.

Riders see the e-scooter scheme as a good alternative to public transport, especially during the pandemic. Nine out of ten riders (86%) consider the e-scooter hire scheme as a safer option than public transport in terms of COVID-19 health concerns.

The scheme also provides residents an environmentally friendly choice when walking isn’t a viable option often due to distance and people pressed for time. About 38% of the users would have walked in absence of the e-scooter hire scheme. 

Commenting on e-scooter schemes leading to a healthier, greener Essex, Steve Pyer, UK Country Manager at Spin said:

“It’s exciting to see the shift in rider behaviour in Essex to a more sustainable transport mode. Whether riders are looking for greener modes of transport or not, the demand for e-scooters is there, and the more people that use them, the more we can positively impact the environment and health of the community.

“We anticipate these trends to continue upwards especially with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted across the UK and more people once again travelling to work, popping to the high street to shop or socialise.”

Cllr Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport added: 

“These figures released from Spin are encouraging, suggesting e-scooter travel in the trial areas is replacing car journeys, supporting our overall ambition to make Essex safer, greener and healthier.

“This e-scooter trial is just one initiative of our campaign to promote active travel – a consultation launched last week gives all residents of Essex an opportunity to comment on our latest proposals to encourage cycling and walking in the county.”

Spin has nearly 150,000 rides across Essex where it currently operates more than 500 e-scooters in Basildon, Chelmsford, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester (shared hire scheme) and in Brentwood and Braintree (long-term hire).

Chris Price
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