Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Bike Sharing

Scooter Trips Surpass Docked Bike Share for the First Time

Scooter ridership in America has outpaced traditional docked bike share for the first time, a new report shows.

In 2018, riders took 38.5 million trips on shared e-scooters across American cities, almost doubling ridership over a year and topping the number of trips made on city-sponsored bike share for the first time, according to a new analysis by the National Association of City Transportation Officials. The report comes as e-scooter use and deployment is surging and dockless shared bikes are slowly disappearing, as private shared mobility companies disinvested and shifted money to e-scooters.

Last year, e-scooter trips surpassed bike share for the first time. Graph: NACTO
Last year, e-scooter trips surpassed bike share for the first time. Graph: NACTO
Last year, e-scooter trips surpassed bike share for the first time. Graph: NACTO

About 36.5 million trips were taken on bike share. Those trips are primarily on just six  city-sponsored bike share systems: NYC's Citi Bike, Boston's Bluebikes, Chicago's Divvy, D.C.'s Capital Bikeshare, Honolulu's Biki and the Bay Area's Ford GoBike. Together, these accounted for 84 percent of all docked bike share trips, with Citi Bike comprising almost half.

bike share egraph

Only 3 million trips were taken on pedal dockless bike share, as companies like ofo and Lime shifted their investments toward scooters or, in ofo's case, got out of American micro mobility almost entirely.

The NACTO analysis did show evidence of big demand for e-bikes, although they were only available in a few limited locations in 2018, including New York and San Francisco. The report confirms what Citi Bike officials have long said: e-bikes tend to be borrowed many more times per day than a regular pedal bike — an average of an astounding 15 times a day in New York City vs. about five per day for the regular bike.

People paid about the same amount of money to rent e-scooters vs. docked bikes, with e-scooters averaging about $3.50 per trip and the cheapest being docked bike share trips made by members at $1.25 per trip.

Docked bike share was most likely to be used for commuting or transit connections. But a healthy number of scooter trips are also used for those purposes as well, NACTOs estimates show.

Graph: NACTO
Graph: NACTO
Graph: NACTO

“Shared micromobility is one of the most energy and carbon-efficient modes of travel, and its rapid growth provides an opportunity to reduce emissions faster," Linda Fedirko, senior program associate of Climateworks Foundation, said in a statement. "This mode is also showing early promise of addressing last-mile connectivity gaps in cities, and enabling the reallocation of public space for shared and active mobility.”

One note: several cities stopped expanding or investing in docked bike share when dockless arrived a few years ago. A few cities, such as Boston, New York and the Bay Area, have forged ahead anyway.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Friday’s Headlines Got Served

Another day, another GOP lawsuit trying to overturn a Biden administration climate change rule.

April 19, 2024

Disabled People Are Dying in America’s Crosswalks — But We’re Not Counting Them

The data on traffic fatalities and injuries doesn’t account for their needs or even count them. Better data would enable better solutions.

April 19, 2024

LA: Automated Enforcement Coming Soon to a Bus Lane Near You

Metro is already installing on-bus cameras. Soon comes testing, outreach, then warning tickets. Wilshire/5th/6th and La Brea will be the first bus routes in the bus lane enforcement program.

April 18, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Charging Up Transportation

This week, we talk to the great Gabe Klein, executive director of President Biden's Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (and a former Streetsblog board member), about curbside electrification.

April 18, 2024

Why Does the Vision Zero Movement Stop At the Edge of the Road?

U.S. car crash deaths are nearly 10 percent higher if you count collisions that happen just outside the right of way. So why don't off-road deaths get more air time among advocates?

April 18, 2024
See all posts