When do people scoot?

I’ve been working this weekend on a couple of papers related to scooter trips and public safety, which has involved a review of the existing peer-reviewed evidence and reports from Bird and others on scooter safety and related municipal priorities. Inspired by Portland’s heatmap of the most popular hours for scooter trips for each day of the week (see p21 here), I decided to come up with my own version of this for Indy. It confirms some of the trends and use cases we’ve come to expect.

The lines plotted below are the median counts of scooter trips taken each day of the week for each hour of the day. For example, from September 2018 through June 2019, for all Tuesdays at 9am, we plot the median number of scooter trips begun during the 9 o’clock hour (yes, the data adjusts for daylight savings time). I chose the median because it is less susceptible to outliers, but for what it’s worth, the averages look pretty much the same.


As far as interpreting these trends, we see what we’d expect to see if people are using scooters for commuting: the spike right around the commute hours of 7-9am only occurs during weekdays. Friday tracks pretty closely with the rest of the weekdays throughout the data, but in the evenings appears to deviate as people may use scooters to get to a restaurant or bar for an evening event. We also see overall elevated numbers of trips on Fridays compared to other weekdays, starting at about 10am and continuing on through the day. Finally, Sundays appear to behave like other weekdays starting around 7pm, which also makes sense as people prepare for the week.

And for funsies, here’s an animated version of this that shows each day of the week over time. This clarifies the divergence of Friday from the rest of the weekdays around 10am and the convergence of Sunday with the weekdays in the evening.


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