Most people who ride e-scooters and e-bikes in Santa Monica are young, male and affluent, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The user survey was created by the City of Santa Monica and was open to responses from Jan. 25 to Feb. 15. The four scooter and bike companies authorized to operate in the city distributed the survey through email and in-app pop-ups. A total of 4,700 users self-selected to respond to the survey, with approximately 3,000 completing all 21 questions.

The survey gathered demographic information and gauged riders’ knowledge of Santa Monica’s shared mobility pilot program, which launched last September and regulates Bird, Lime, Lyft and Jump, which is owned by Uber. It prohibits scooters and bikes on the sidewalk, in parks and certain downtown areas.

Only 10 percent of those surveyed reported being unfamiliar with the pilot program, and 59 percent said they were very familiar with it.

According to the survey, 35 percent of riders are Santa Monicans, 44 percent are from elsewhere in Los Angeles County and 21 percent live outside the county.

42 percent are between 25 and 34, 21 percent are 18 to 24 and two percent are under 18. 34 percent are 35 and older. 69 percent are men.

About half of riders earn more than $75,000. 28 percent earn between $30,000 and $75,000 and 20 percent earn less than $30,000.

Three-quarters of riders own a vehicle, less than 10 percent share a vehicle and 15 percent don’t have access to one.

Riders use scooters and bikes for a wide range of purposes. Work and recreation trips were the most commonly reported trips, at 31 percent and 23 percent of trips, respectively. Half of those trips replace a car trip, while 38 percent replace a walking trip.

44 percent use the devices less than once per week, 30 percent use them one to three times per week and 26 percent use them more than three times per week. 54 percent said a lack of bike lanes prevent them from riding scooters or bikes as much as they would like, and 45 percent said it was difficult to locate the devices.

Two-thirds rarely or never use helmets, which is not a requirement in California under a state law that went into effect Jan. 1.

86 percent of all riders know they are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk, but 20 percent still do. 77 percent ride on streets with bike lanes and half ride on streets without bike lanes.

About 70 percent know that they can’t ride on the Promenade or beach path and slightly less than half know they are not allowed in Palisades Park.

madeleine@smdp.com

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4 Comments

  1. How about a different headline? “Most Scooter Riders Ditch Car and Reduce Traffic Jams”. What a negative headline the highlights the selective use of information in journalism.

  2. Headline: Why we are not shocked that the entitled asshats riding on the sidewalk and flaunting the law are young, rich punks.

  3. This survey doesn’t appear to be in line with reality. 1/3 of users say they use a helmet at least half the time? Look around how many people do you see wearing helmets? Maybe 1/3 should be 1/3 of 1%

  4. Note the problems with self-selected surveys, conflating scooters & bikes, and social desirability biases – we often don’t get very good results.

    Respondents claim to wear helmets far more often than observed – particularly for scooters. Alternatively one can check this with the UCLA health(scooter injury) data.

    The scooter companies have incentives to inflate helmet use as well and thus the nature of how surveys were emailed to folks matters as does the response rate.

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