Shared Micromobility Overview
2022 was a historic year for Portland’s BIKETOWN and E-Scooter programs. Both programs set ridership records for a combined record of over 1.5 million trips. This snapshot provides an overview of both programs.
Shared micromobility refers to lightweight vehicles available for public use. In Portland, this refers to the BIKETOWN bike-share and E-Scooter programs. Three e-scooter companies operate under a PBOT-issued permit (Bird, Lime and Spin). Lyft operates BIKETOWN under a contract with PBOT and through a public-private partnership between Nike and PBOT.
Riders have taken nearly 6.5 million trips since the programs began.
(Click below to read the full Shared Micromobility Snapshot)
E-Scooters: By the Numbers
Number of e-scooters permitted to operate 2,990
Service area (citywide) 145 square miles
Current number of e-scooter companies 3
Number of trips in 20221 1,011,000
All-time system trips (since July 2018)1 4,178,000
Total Equity Users2 6,229
Total Equity Trips 20221 2 146,000
( 1Approximate numbers, 2Spin and Lime only)
E-Scooters: Milestones in 2022
- Surpassed 1 million trips in 2022
- Users traveled over 1.2 million miles by e-scooter in 2022.
- First City program to use Portland 311, allowing improved customer service and responsiveness fore-scooter issues
- Released request for proposal (RFP) solicitation for the future long-term program
E-Scooters: Program Overview and Update
PBOT established its first E-Scooter pilot program in 2018, which lasted four months. Following the City’s initial E-Scooter pilot program and the 2018 findings report, PBOT launched a second E-Scooter pilot program in April 2019, which continues to this day. The City received applications from more than 10 companies but only permitted six to operate in the second pilot. Currently, three companies continue to operate in our second pilot.
In October 2020, Portland City Council directed PBOT to develop a Request for Proposals (RFP) to issue contracts that would transition e-scooters from a pilot permit to a long-term contractual program. The RFP was released in June 2022 and the City plans to launch the long-term e-scooter program sometime in 2023.
E-Scooters: Upcoming Changes to Program
PBOT centered the RFP around three core areas:
- Reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to combat climate change
- Promoting safety, responsible riding, and consumer protections
- Reducing racial disparities and advancing transportation justice
A crucial change developed in 2022 and to be implemented in 2023 for our long-term program is a lock-to requirement for e-scooters that will promote safety on the sidewalks and reduce pedestrian conflicts.
Other upcoming key changes to the E-Scooter program will be having fewer operators to improve the user experience by not having to download several apps to access e-scooters; more e-scooters will be available city-wide to further increase transportation access; and requiring scooter companies to have all W-2 employees to promote equitable hiring practices and workforce development.
E-Scooters: Advancing Climate Change Goals
Electric mobility options are replacing car trips with e-scooters generating 4.1 million trips since July 2018. Through user surveys and mobility research, e-scooters are replacing on average 30-35% of car trips. Research has suggested that e-scooters have a net positive climate benefit.
Source: Krauss, K., Doll, C., & Thigpen, C.G. (2022). The Net Sustainability Impact of Shared Micromobility in Six Global Cities.
E-Scooters: Equity Programs
All three e-scooter companies distributed helmets and provided information to their equity programs through deliveries and events hosted by the Street Trust, Community Cycling Center, Community Services Network, Portland Pickles, Forth, and Sunday Parkways.
Meanwhile, Spin and Lime continued to partner with community based organizations such as SUMA, Hacienda CDC, Proud Ground, Bricks Need Mortar, Louisa Flowers housing, Go Lloyd, and Blanchet House to promote free and discounted trips through their equity programs.
In 2022, Portland became Lime’s fourth largest equity program (i.e. Lime Access) globally by unique active users and set many ridership milestones. Lime Access riders traveled over 150,000 miles in Portland during 2022. On October 11th, we saw an all-time Lime Access ridership record set with over 1,000 rides that day.
E-Scooters: 2022 Ridership Overview
E-scooters surpassed 1,000,000 rides in 2022. The Central City saw the highest ridership. East Portland also generated significant ridership, particularly along 122nd Avenue.
Over 1 million E-Scooter trips in 2022
E-scooter ridership was strong throughout 2022. Like BIKETOWN, ridership is seasonal with most rides occurring during the summer months, yet e-scooters still averaged over 1,000 trips per day throughout the entire year.
E-Scooters 2022 Trip Distances
Over 90% of e-scooter trips were three miles or less, slightly higher than the 81% of BIKETOWN trips that were three miles or less. Furthermore, approximately 56% of e-scooter trips were one mile or less compared to 36% for BIKETOWN. This illustrates e-scooters generated shorter distance trips at a higher rate. Yet, this also highlights the demand and use of both e-scooters and BIKETOWN for short trips (three miles or less), and potentially serving as a crucial connection for the first and last mile to transit stops.
Portland Shared Micromobility – Looking Forward
PBOT and its operating partners plan to increase the positive impact of bike-share and e-scooters as reliable, accessible and sustainable transportation options. Here’s a preview of a few things coming in 2023:
PBOT plans to launch its permanent E-Scooter program in 2023. Portland was one of the nation’s first cities to create an E-Scooter permit program in 2018. A permanent program will create more certainty for users and providers. The new program will include new features that reduce sidewalk conflicts for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. These include a lock-to requirement for e-scooters and fewer operators to improve user experience.
PBOT was also the nation’s first large-scale bike-share system to provide access to adaptive cycles through a rental program. In 2022, PBOT began engaging community stakeholders to understand how Adaptive BIKETOWN could improve. PBOT is convening our second Adaptive BIKETOWN work group this spring and will announce its findings later this year.
E-scooter and bike-share had robust year-over-year growth in 2021 and 2022. We expect ridership for both systems to grow even further in 2023.