Electric scooter rider habits are changing dramatically.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the progressive lifting of global lockdown measures, micromobility is taking on a significant new role in the lives of city residents. The effects are being clearly felt in Europe, where Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi is holding events to announce the capital’s first micromobility launches and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is touting the record breaking success of the city’s new bike lanes.
Around the rest of the world as well, new data tell the story of how riders are engaging with electric micromobility vehicles in a variety of new and exciting ways. Here are the three most compelling statistics we’ve seen so far relating to electric scooter use in a post-COVID world.
1.) More People are Trying Scooters for the First Time
Around the world, an increasing number of people are trying micromobility for the first time. This is likely a result of several factors, including the need to socially distance, a reluctance to be in confined spaces and a reduced demand on public transportation to accommodate local trips.
The trend is particularly high in North America, where the percentage of first time Bird riders has more than doubled compared to pre-COVID levels.
2.) Nearly Twice as Many First Time Riders are Becoming Repeat Riders
A very promising trend is emerging as people choose between returning to cars or developing new, more sustainable mobility habits. According to Bird data pulled globally over the past month, new user retention rates are up more than 93%. This means that people who try electric scooters for the first time are quickly becoming repeat riders.
A recent life cycle analysis has demonstrated just how wide the sustainability gap is between Bird’s shared electric scooters and personal cars and ride hailing services. As urban air pollution levels threaten to return to normal post COVID, this significant increase in rider retention could help ensure that at least some of the environmental gains made during the global lockdown are kept.
3.) Scooter Rides are More Than 50% Longer
In late May, Bird Chief Product Officer Ryan Fujiu discussed the dramatic increase in both rides and ride duration seen post-COVID:
“Over the past month, we’ve seen sustained increases in trip duration of more than 50%. Initially we attributed this to a desire to be back outdoors experiencing fresh air and open space, but we’re seeing strong indications that it may be a much longer-term trend related to things like public transit concerns, nearly a thousand miles of new open streets and a spike in the construction of protected cycling infrastructure.”
Weeks later, this trend is continuing, highlighting an increased reliance on micromobility to facilitate longer local trips.