Scoot Over: The Growth of Micromobility in the South
The emergence of shared electric scooters is the latest development in the broader micromobility movement, defined by the use of light, often single-occupant modes of transportation for short distances. Along with electric scooters, station-based and dockless pedal and electric bicycles are the most commonly used micromobility vehicles, accounting for more than 80 million trips in 2018.
In the South, the introduction of shared electric scooters has been swift. With growing populations and favorable climates across much of the region, urban and suburban areas in most SLC states are experiencing both the benefits of electric scooters for expanded mobility and the challenges they present for transportation and public safety. In response, several SLC states enacted legislation in 2019 to address the concerns that shared electric scooters have engendered, such as how and where they should operate, who is eligible to ride them and what precautions need to be taken to maximize safety.
This SLC Regional Resource provides an overview of micromobility, specifically shared electric scooters, and outlines the various actions Southern states have taken to create a coherent regulatory framework to manage their growth. While much of the authority to regulate electric scooters is delegated to local officials, state governments have an important role to play to ensure this emerging mode of transportation is both safe and accessible.