The Pandemic Has Shifted Where Scooters and Robots Fit In

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag on, new mobility in the form of e-scooters has increased in use, along with emerging technology like delivery robots.

The scooter company Spin reports increased trip distance and number of trips in the cities in which it operates. The duration of the trips is increasing with average length of trip reaching nearly 22 minutes in May, up from 15 minutes a year ago. In the Northeast, trip duration climbed 33 percent in April, compared to April in 2019, according to Josh Johnson, public policy manager at Spin.

“This leaves us to believe that as people have gone away from public transit … they’re turning to scooters as an opportunity to facilitate more essential trips, less recreational,” said Johnson, speaking on an Open Mobility Foundation panel discussion last week.