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City Survey Finds E-Scooter, E-Bike Riders Are Affluent, Live Outside City

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

May 10, 2019 -- Nearly two-thirds of e-scooter and e-bike riders in Santa Monica live outside the city and more than a third make over $100,000 a year, according to a survey released by the City Wednesday.

The survey taken by a total of 4,700 users, some 3,000 of whom completed all 21 questions, confirms the prevailing view of those using what City officials call "micro-mobility" options.

Most are male (69 percent), young (63 percent are between the ages of 18 and 35) and affluent (52 percent made at least $75,000 a year).

Most -- 75 percent -- owned a car, while 15 percent had no vehicle access. The e-scooters and bikes, the survey found, are encouraging users to find modes of getting around.

"A majority of respondents say that they’ve been using car modes less," the report said.

"Compared to other modes, respondents reported a notable increase in walking and rail transit use since taking up shared scooters/bikes."

Of the respondents, nearly a third (31 percent) said their last trip was work-related and 23 percent said they used the scooter or bike for recreation. Some 15 percent used it for dining.

Half of those who took the survey said they ditched their car, while 38 percent said they rode the scooter or bike instead of walking.

Most of the users live outside Santa Monica, with 44 percent living elsewhere in LA County and 20 percent outside the county. Half of those from outside the county used the vehicles for recreation.

Of the respondents, 35 percent live in Santa Monica and are more likely to be 35 or older.

About one-third said they rarely or never wear helmets, 77 percent said they ride on streets with bike lanes, while 48 percent said they ride on streets without bike lanes.

While 86 percent said they know riding on sidewalks is illegal, 20 percent of the respondents said they do so. Those who reported riding on sidewalks are moe likely to live outside Santa Monica.

More than 70 percent said they know riding e-scooter and bikes on the Promenade and Beach Path is illegal.

The survey was conducted between January 25 and February 15 with the cooperation of the four permitted operators participating in a pilot program aimed at controlling the vehicles' run-away success ("Santa Monica Launches Pilot Program for Electric Scooters, Bikes," September 17, 2018).

The survey can be viewed here

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