We see shared e-bikes and scooters all over downtowns and campuses, but researchers noticed something recently: They are overwhelmingly occupied by men. Women haven’t embraced micro-mobility modes as much as men have. So the researchers got together with 40 female mobility professionals to find out why.
Some of what they learned:
- The last mile of a trip is the most challenging for women at night. They don’t feel safe walking or using scooters or bikes on poorly lit or unpopulated streets.
- Many women, particularly mothers, trip-chain, stopping at several destinations during most outings. A trip to work involves a stop at daycare or school, and the trip at home includes that stop again plus one at the store, extracurricular activity for the children, or other destination. They’re often holding little hands and carrying things besides a briefcase. Doing that on a bike or scooter is challenging, if not impossible.
- Working women experience tension “between status and impact.” Their professional appearance (clothing, shoes, hair, makeup, etc.) is important and can be destroyed on a bike or scooter.
- Women are time-crunched. They often multi-task, combining a subway ride with paperwork or a ride-share with phone calls. Neither is possible on micro-mobility.
There are more reasons, and the experts behind the study share them along with their story and why it’s all important, in the March issue of Parking & Mobility magazine. Read it here and let us know on Forum—what do you think?