Study: E-Scooters Would Dramatically Shorten Commutes For L-Train Riders During Shutdown

Analysis reveals that e-scooters can play a key role in mitigating severe consequences for commuters during shutdown

NEW YORK – A new study released today by Bird reveals that deploying e-scooters in the L-Train corridor would result in significant time savings for commuters during the subway line’s 15-month shutdown. The study, conducted by industry leading firms HR&A Advisors and Nelson\Nygaard, concluded that those commuting by scooter would save a combined 1,300 hours per day, or an average of 15 minutes per day per commuter, if scooters were deployed during the shutdown. In addition, the study found that deploying e-scooters in the Corridor would remove up to 1,500 cars from the road each day, along with 7.25 metric tons of carbon emissions.

“Bird is ready to step up and help all New York City commuters—especially in the L Train corridor—save time, reduce congestion, and lower carbon emissions,” said Ashwini Chhabra, Senior Director and Head of Policy Research at Bird. “By providing commuters with a safe, affordable, and sustainable mobility option like e-scooters, we can play an integral role in reducing the worst impacts of the shutdown. We’re optimistic that the City Council is now considering legislation to bring e-scooters to the L-Train corridor, and think today’s study provides serious and clear evidence of the benefits Bird could bring to commuters and the city’s transit system.”

The study found that:

  • Bird would serve up to 33,000 daily trips. The L train deployment would attract approximately 11,000 one-way work-related trips and up to 33,000 total daily trips.

  • Riders using Bird would save a combined 1,300 hours per day by taking Bird from their home to an alternative subway line, which translates to an average of 15 minutes per day. Altogether this translates into an average of 15% reduction in commuting times per Bird rider and $4.6 million per year in value of time saved.

  • Bird trips will help keep 1,500 additional cars off the City’s congested roads in the L-train corridor. Bird trips could help reduce 9,000 vehicle miles traveled per day – comparable to nearly 1,500 vehicles and 7.25 metric tons of daily Carbon Dioxide Equivalent – compared to the L train shut down without Bird, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

  • Bird will benefit low-income commuters by providing an affordable and reliable first and last mile connection. Many residents in Ridgewood, Bushwick, and Williamsburg are hourly workers who have less flexibility with their work schedule. To ensure Bird is affordable, the OneBird program offers reduced pricing for eligible low-income riders.

With the 15-month shut down of the L train slated for April 2019, New York City leaders and residents alike must be prepared for a seismic shift in how New Yorkers travel—and how an already over-burdened and struggling transit system will be forced to operate without one of its most crucial subways lines. More than 125,000 riders currently rely on the L to get between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The study was conducted by HR&A Advisors, an industry-leading public policy, real estate, and economic development consulting firm. It’s analytic work was supported by Nelson\Nygaard, a nationally-recognized transportation firm that engages in holistic planning for all modes of transportation.

The full study can be found here: NYC L Train E-Scooter Study