Making Micromobilty Work: Exploring Public Opinion to Inform Policy, Infrastructure, Technology, and Sharing Services

In a few short years, micromobility has attracted intense interest from the public, policymakers, researchers, device manufacturers, mobility-as-a-service companies, and investors. Micromobility as a class encompasses lightweight devices like e-scooters and skateboards propelled by either human or battery power, though the recent storm of interest was triggered in 2017 by the emergence of one type of micromobility, shared e-scooter systems.

This project will explore public opinion around micromobility, notably questions of particular relevance to local policymakers. Survey topics will include perceptions of safety for both micromobility riders and pedestrians, the potential for micromobility as a first/last mile solution for public transit riders, and road management issues (e.g. “rules of the road” for riders and government policy on shared mobility companies).

USDOT Priorities:

The proposed project aligns with US DOT Notice of Funding Opportunity Challenge 1 (Improving Mobility of People and Goods), particularly with respect to Mobility Innovation. E-scooters have been one of the most successful innovative personal mobility technologies in recent years and is arguably still emerging, with later-Covid rebounds in travel and increasing use of privately-owned scooters. Technological innovation is also still ongoing with companies working on safer and more durable e-scooters, adaptive e-scooters for people with disabilities, and the development of new micromobility form factors.

San José State University
Principal Investigator: 
Asha Weinstein Agrawal, Ph.D.
PI Contact Information:

San Jose State University

Total Project Cost: 
Agency ID or Contract Number: 
December 2023 to December 2024
Implementation of Research Outcomes: 

The primary outputs of this project will be the final written report and the survey results/ dataset. The results will be of interest to practitioners in several fields (e.g. local governments, state governments, mobility service companies, device manufacturers, and interest groups). We plan on consulting with individuals from these groups in the development of the survey, providing opportunities for new partnerships between outside organizations and the consortium.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

The results from our survey will inform public agency policy and infrastructure decisions, shared micromobility service company operations strategies, and device design by manufacturers. To the degree that such policy changes facilitate greater micromobility use, that has the potential for transformational impacts because 52% of trips in the US are under three miles, a very reasonable distance for travel on micromobility devices. The most transformational impacts will be in suburban communities that are too low-density to support a high-density transit network, and where people need to travel distances that are too long for a convenient walk to access neighborhood services and retail. In addition, micromobility can provide a particularly important first/last mile solution for transit trips in suburban communities.

Project Number: 



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