Tech start-up Populus released a report last month that found that most people like dockless e-scooters, despite what particularly loud detractors will have you believe.
“In the 11 major U.S. cities where data was collected, 70 percent of people view shared
e-scooters as a way to get around without the hassle of owning a car, as a substitute
for short driving trips, or as a complement to public transit,” the report reads.
Viewing scooters positively is much different than actually riding them (like how you view spinach positively but don’t eat it all the time), but these results are nonetheless encouraging for e-scooter adoption.
Interestingly, higher rates of women have positive perceptions of e-scooters than men (72 percent to 67 percent). Populus suggests this might be because women find it easier to use scooters than bikes while wearing dresses or skirts, or because e-scooters can be more easily ridden on sidewalks than bikes, perhaps making them appear safer. Yet more men have actually ridden e-scooters than women (4.4 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively).
However, while the results from this are exciting, we should take it with a grain of salt. Despite the fact that Populus has some pretty impressive research credentials on staff, the report doesn’t explain how the survey data was collected. We would feel more confident communicating the information if there were more transparency in the group’s research methodology.
[Editor’s note: The day after our article appeared, Populus announced that it will provide its data to organizations that apply for it through its website. Hopefully this results in some interesting findings and stories based on the data.]
Photo by Jenna Fortunati