Lots more electric scooters in Bloomington, but not as many more rides

Compared to late summer last year, there are 50 percent more shared electric scooters staged around Bloomington, waiting for prospective riders.

But the 50-percent bigger fleet has generated just 13 percent more rides.

Those numbers are based on the city of Bloomington’s public dataset of scooter activity. Included in the dataset are daily records of the number of rides and the number of available scooters for each of the three scooter companies that are allowed to do business using the public right-of-way.

By the numbers, between Aug. 14 and Sept. 14 of 2021 the total average number of available scooters (counting all three companies) each day was 454, compared to 690 for the same period in 2022. That’s a 50-percent increase.

Between Aug. 14 and Sept. 14 of 2021, the total average number of rides given (counting all three companies) each day was 2,051, compared to 2,309 in 2022. That’s a 13-percent increase.

That means the three companies overall are generating fewer rides per available scooter.

The rides-per-available scooter stat is important, because it’s part of the contractual agreement between each scooter company and the city of Bloomington.

If a company doesn’t hit a minimum number of rides-per-scooter each calendar month, the city is supposed to be able to reduce the allowable number of scooters the company can make available in the public right-of-way. Continue reading “Lots more electric scooters in Bloomington, but not as many more rides”

Electric scooter parking violations: Zero citations, in over 2 years since local Bloomington law was passed

When Bloomington’s city council enacted an ordinance regulating shared electric scooters, the local law came with a provision about sidewalk parking. Users could park their scooters on sidewalks, but with more than a dozen restrictions.

Among the restrictions are some obvious requirements—like the need to leave a clear straight path of some minimal width (at least four and a half feet), and a prohibition against blocking accessibility ramps.

At the July 31, 2019 city council meeting, when the scooter ordinance was enacted, city attorney Mike Rouker told the city council: “[The city of Bloomington] will be fining them every single time we see a parking issue.”

Apparent violations of the scooter parking ordinance are noticeable in many places around town where scooters are operated.

But the city of Bloomington has not made any citations or issued any fines related to improper scooter parking, after the ordinance became effective more than two years ago, on Sept. 1, 2019

Continue reading “Electric scooter parking violations: Zero citations, in over 2 years since local Bloomington law was passed”

Data notebook: Bloomington’s electric scooter ridership at 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels

Measured by scooter rides, life in Bloomington has not yet returned to the pre-pandemic norms.

Numbers available through the city’s B Clear platform show that for August and September of 2021, a total of 106,083 rides were taken on a shared electric scooter, which is 69 percent of the 154,486 rides taken during the same period in 2019. Continue reading “Data notebook: Bloomington’s electric scooter ridership at 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels”

Bloomington’s e-scooter ridership down, Lime still leads, but cedes ground to Veo

In August and September this year, a total of about 71,800 rides were taken in Bloomington on e-scooters, which are available for short-term rental from three different companies.

That’s only about 46 percent of the ridership seen for the same two months in 2019—an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though Indiana University students have returned to campus, many of them have vastly reduced local travel requirements, because some of their classes are offered online.

University affiliates make up the majority of ridership for public buses and private e-scooters alike. After e-scooter ridership dipped to nearly nothing over the summer, it has rebounded a little bit this fall, somewhat better than public bus ridership.

Ridership on Bloomington Transit’s fixed route buses in August this year was around just 32 percent of August ridership in 2019.

In Bloomington the competition for riders is a three-way fight between Bird, Lime and a newcomer, Veo. The last to arrive on the scene, Veo can now claim around 32 percent of Bloomington ridership, better than twice as much as Bird’s 12 percent, but still trailing Lime’s 56 percent. Continue reading “Bloomington’s e-scooter ridership down, Lime still leads, but cedes ground to Veo”