Master of Science
Micromobility sharing systems, including bikes and e-scooters, are often promoted as solutions to urban transportation equity challenges. Dockless micromobility sharing systems however remain understudied due in part to their novelty. In particular, there has been limited research on the spatial equity of e-scooter sharing, which concerns whether systems are equally accessible across a city regardless of the relative advantage and disadvantage of urban areas.
This thesis reports on two related analyses of the spatial equity of e-scooter sharing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada using an open dataset of three months worth of trip data (July – September, 2019): a gravity model approach to analyzing the spatial equity of e-scooter trip flows, and an ANOVA and linear regression-based comparison of the spatial equity profiles of dockless bike and e-scooter sharing. The results show that both dockless bike and e-scooter sharing in Calgary are spatially inequitable, and that there are no significant spatial equity differences between the use of dockless bikes and e-scooters.
Summary for Lay Audience
Micromobility sharing systems, including bike sharing and e-scooter sharing, are being adopted at a rapid rate in cities all over the world. Micromobility sharing is often seen as a fun, convenient, and affordable way of moving around the city for both recreation and for commuting purposes This is advertised to be even more true for dockless micromobility sharing systems. Dockless systems seem to be even more convenient than docked systems because instead of picking up a bike or e-scooter from a station and trying to find a station to drop off the vehicle, users only have to find a vehicle to start riding, and at the end of a ride, the vehicle can be left almost anywhere the user desires. Dockless micromobility sharing could potentially benefit a city by providing more transportation options for citizens, better transportation connections to public transit systems like buses or trains, and fun recreational opportunities. But the question of whether everyone in the city has the same opportunity to access and use available micromobility sharing services has not yet been answered. For example, if a person lives in an area of the city that is historically seen as lower income or working class, are they able to find and use a public shared bike or e-scooter as easily as people living in more advantaged areas? This is part of the concept of spatial equity, and this research centers on investigating whether dockless micromobility sharing programs which include both dockless bikes and e-scooters are spatially equitable. This research used data from Calgary’s shared mobilities program, which collected data on dockless bike and e-scooter trips made from July to September of 2019. The data was analyzed using statistical techniques that help determine how differences in the relative advantage or disadvantage of different areas within the city effect the use of dockless bikes and e-scooters in order to understand whether the micromobility sharing program in Calgary was considered to be spatially equitable.
Kong, Vivian, "The Spatial Equity of Dockless Micromobility Sharing Systems in Calgary, Canada" (2021). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 8180.