The authors would like to thank Skootel for providing their data and answering questions about their system. This work was supported by the National Institute for Congestion Reduction (NICR) and funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology University Transportation Centers Program under Grant No. 69A3551947136.
A case study is presented of a dockless e-scooter rental service (MDES) in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, a city within the understudied Latin American region. MDES trip data were used to examine the spatiotemporal patterns of e-scooter trips in the city, while survey data was collected to explore the characteristics of MDES users and nonusers, as well as the factors that influenced their demand for MDES trips. In addition, this study proposes a network-based approach to evaluate the level of spatial access and equity of dockless micromobility vehicles. Three measures are proposed to quantify spatial access at the level of locations (i.e., network nodes) as a function of the distance of each location to each e-scooter. As illustrated in the MDES case, the measures can be used to examine spatial access at the service area-, zonal-, building-, and point-levels, and to compute spatial access inequality indexes.
The survey analysis indicated that female respondents were 1.7 times less likely to use MDES than males and that young populations groups more than two times more likely to be MDES users than the reference population group. The survey analysis also revealed that cost, safety, and built environment concerns were the main barriers to the use of MDES, and that the primary reasons for using the service were parking problems and traffic congestion. Among other things, the spatiotemporal analysis of the MDES trips data shows that 78% of trips started and ended at the city’s main university, that a significant proportion of trips were linked to neighborhoods with a high concentration of university students, and that demand for e-scooter trips dropped drastically when the university was not in session. The analysis of the MDES data revealed marked differences in spatial access within and between zones in the study region. On average, daily Atkinson inequality index values, which were computed using the proposed spatial access indicators, ranged from 0.45 to 0.80, which points to an unequal spatial access to MDES. The paper closes by discussing applications of the proposed methodology for the design of policies aimed at minimizing inequality in spatial access to dockless micromobility services.