Shifts in mobility are all around us. In addition to traditional modes of transportation — such as cars and public transportation via train or bus—there are new offerings available to commuters, residents and tourists. This includes ridesharing, which has experienced a dramatic rise this past decade. Additionally, there has been a significant shift in micromobility over the past 24 months. While station-based (or docked) shared bicycles became common in some American cities a decade ago, electronic scooters have revolutionized micromobility in just the past two years. In fact, electronic scooters accounted for half of the 84 million U.S. micromobility rides in 2018. In Charlotte, over 1.22 million scooter trips have occurred since launching in May 2018, according to the Charlotte Department of Transportation’s eScooter Monthly Report.
This sudden rise in eScooter ridership is due to the wide accessibility of dockless scooters made available by various electronic scooter providers in nearly 150 U.S. cities in a relatively short time frame. There are currently three eScooter providers in Charlotte. The large supply in denser parts of the city has boosted eScooters’ popularity by increasing the relative ease of accessing a ride at any time of the day or night. Additionally, eScooter ridership has grown because they are:
- Affordable. A typical trip of under two miles can cost $3-4 less than ridesharing.
- Popular. Seventy percent of Americans have a positive perception of micromobility.
- Just fun! Ridership increases by 18% over the weekends, peaking on Saturday afternoons. During the week, eScooters are most commonly used during evening commutes and for getting around after work.
The potential impact on commercial real estate is large as eScooters reduce the friction of last-mile transportation in dense submarkets such as Uptown . Scooters max speed (15 mph) is five times that of the average human walker. This means people can easily access greater amounts of office space, multifamily units, retail space and restaurants/entertainment. In May 2019, the average eScooter user in Charlotte took one to three trips, traveling 1.08 miles per trip on average. Click the infographic below for more on the eScooter trend!
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Americas Head of Occupier Research