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Americans Want Bike Shares More Than Scooters, According to New Report from Nift

Survey shows 2 out of 3 people wouldn’t use electric scooters, with more than half saying they prefer to walk and nearly 4 in 10 saying they believe them to be dangerous


BOSTONMay 29, 2018Nift, an AI-powered platform connecting local businesses with their next great customer, today issued a new report around how consumers feel about the latest wave of transportation options to hit cities’ streets: electronic scooters and bike sharing.

Earlier this year, an onslaught of motorized scooters arrived in the likes of San Francisco, Austin and Washington, D.C. to a mixed reception. Flush with cash from investors, scooter-sharing startups like Lime, Bird and Spin descended upon densely populated city streets and surrounding areas, forcing moves by municipal governments in affected areas to regulate this new mode of transportation.

As scooter sharing companies continue expanding their operations, the question looms: do consumers really want them and plan to use them in their cities, or is this just the latest fad that’s having a negative impact and will be met with unilateral revulsion?

Nift collected data from 451 people to get their opinions on scooter-sharing and bike sharing, and the types of businesses they want accessibility to walk to in their neighborhoods. The results provide a glimpse into the future of the shifting urban landscape, and the role transportation will play in shaping these experiences.

Scooters face an uphill climb to gain popular support

When asked if people wanted more scooters in their neighborhood, only 23 percent responded affirmatively. What is particularly telling is that when asked if motorized scooters becoming more accessible would get people to use them, over two-thirds (67.4%) still said they wouldn’t, with six in ten saying that they have no interest in using them, and more than half of consumers citing they would rather walk.

This data shows that the climate around electric scooters is largely hostile, as in addition to these findings, over one-third of respondents felt they were dangerous and posed a threat to public safety.

Reasons consumers don’t want to see more electric scooters in their neighborhood:

  • I have no interest or intention to use electric scooters - 59.12%
  • I prefer to walk - 50.83%
  • They are dangerous - 36.46%
  • I prefer to drive - 29.28%
  • They are messy and clog up the streets - 27.07%
  • I prefer to use the bus or subway - 23.76%
  • I prefer to use Uber or Lyft - 18.78%
  • I prefer to use UberPool or Lyft Line - 12.15%
  • I prefer to use my bicycle - 11.05%
  • I prefer to use a bike share - 6.63%

For comparison, consumers were decidedly less polarized around bike-sharing, with 43.2 percent saying they would use the service if it was more convenient.

What businesses consumers want within walking distance

When thinking about the neighborhoods, the study found that restaurants was the most popular choice as to the type of business respondents would want accessibility to walk to, while groceries and gym and fitness instruction ranked second and third respectively.

Top 10 businesses consumers want accessibility to walk to:

  • Restaurants - 63.33%
  • Groceries - 47.38%
  • Gym and Fitness - 46.70%
  • Nightlife & Bars - 41.23%
  • Books, Magazines, Music & Video - 31.21%
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits - 30.52%
  • Arts & Entertainment - 29.61%
  • Beauty & Spas - 28.02%
  • Fashion Boutiques - 23.92%
  • Art and/or Education Classes - 23.23%

​“Residents are clearly hungry to discover more experiences in their neighborhoods, but given the large percentage who’d prefer to walk as a means of transportation, it’s clear scooters aren’t going to be the answer for the majority anytime soon. Our mission is to connect great customers with local businesses in their neighborhood that they’ll love, and the more insight we can provide into what consumers want will go a long way toward meeting the goals of small businesses,” said Elery Pfeffer, CEO and Founder of Nift.

Data was collected by surveying a sample of 451 Nift users. For a copy of the full report, please visit this link, or visit for more information.

About Nift:

Nift is a community of businesses using “neighborhood gifts” to promote one another and power local economies. Developed in collaboration with local merchants, Nift uses machine learning to match neighborhood businesses with the right local customers, getting them to walk through the door. Founded in 2014 in Boston, Nift has raised $16.5M in funding from Spark Capital, Foundry and others. To learn more, visit


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