Perceptions and experiences of Lime scooters: Summary survey results

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Fitt, Helen
Curl, Angela

In February and March 2019 we invited people, whether they had used an e-scooter or not, to tell us what they thought about e-scooter use in New Zealand. At that point, Lime e-scooters were available in four areas of New Zealand: Auckland, Hutt Valley, Christchurch, and Dunedin. Prior to the arrival of Lime, e-scooters had not been widely available, but around the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 Lime e scooters arrived, and e-scooters became prominent in practice and in conversation, were regularly featured in media stories, and became increasingly available for personal purchase. Our first survey aimed to capture early data about the use and perceptions of e-scooters and we intend subsequent surveys to explore how the situation evolves over time.

A survey of attitudes to and use of e-scooters in New Zealand cities received 591 useable responses from a convenience sample, distributed through interest groups and social media.

  • Respondents to the survey were more likely to be young adults, NZ European, to have a high level of education, and a high income; most were from Christchurch.

  • Although not representative of the population, the survey provides some insights into e-scooter use.

  • 71% of respondents had used an e-scooter, 29% had not.

  • 25% of e-scooter users had used an e-scooter once, 75% had used e-scooters more than once.

  • Younger people, men, and those in full-time employment were most likely to use e-scooters.

-First time e-scooter users were most motivated by wanting to have fun and try e-scootering.

  • Subsequent e-scooter use was increasingly motivated by practical considerations around the speed and convenience of e-scooters as a means of transport.

  • Respondents who had used an e-scooter more than once commonly reported using an e-scooter to travel to work, social engagements, or to shops or supermarkets.

  • Most people who had not used an e-scooter had not wanted or needed to use one.

  • Concerns about safety, expense, and not being able to wear normal clothes while e-scootering topped the list of practical reasons for not using an e-scooter.

  • For those who had used an e-scooter more than once:

  • 57% of e-scooter trips replaced trips that would otherwise have been made by active or sustainable modes (on foot, by bicycle, skateboard, or e-bike).

  • 28% of e-scooter trips replaced a trip by private car or van, motorcycle, ride source vehicle, or taxi.

  • 7% of e-scooter trips were new trips that would not otherwise have been made.

  • Over 90% of e-scooter users had ridden on the footpath, only around half (51%) of users and far fewer (26%) non-users think that the footpath is an appropriate environment to ride an e-scooter.

  • These results can help to generate better understandings of e-scooter use and can support the development of transport systems with benefits for New Zealand.

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