April 10, 2020

Zoom Seminar: Scooters in Cities: The Story So Far

Time

1:40pm - 3:00pm

Location

Zoom Seminar

Speaker(s)

Kevin Fang, Assistant Professor of Geography, Environment, and Planning, Sonoma State University

Abstract

In their first two years of existence, shared e-scooter systems have attracted a lot of attention, both positive and negative. A Los Angeles Times editorial lauded scooters’ potential to provide “convenient, affordable ways to travel short distances without getting in a car and driving.” Transportation journalist Benjamin Schneider wrote that shared scooters could “significantly erode private car and ride-hail use, and play a key role in helping cities achieve their as of now unattainable environmental and road safety goals” Others have been far more skeptical, with some calling scooters a “menace” and an “imminent threat” to bystanders. Some political candidates have even run on overt anti-scooter platforms. In this presentation we will explore some of the most prominent controversies surrounding scooters, such as safety, parking, and appropriate regulations, and what some of the early research on scooters has found about these issues.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Kevin Fang is an Assistant Professor of Geography, Environment, and Planning at Sonoma State University. Kevin is a graduate of the PhD program in Transportation, Technology and Policy at UC Davis ITS. His research focuses on travel behavior and policy surrounding sustainable transportation alternatives. Specifically, Kevin has been one of the earliest researchers in the area of “micromobility”, starting with research on skateboarding as a real mode of transportation. More recently, this work has branched into the emerging realm of e-scooters. In 2018, Kevin, along with fellow ITS Davis alum Dr. Calvin Thigpen, was awarded the Transportation Research Board’s Fred C. Burggraf Award, which recognizes early-career researchers.