E-scooter and bike-share route choice and detours: Modelling the influence of built environment and sociodemographic factors

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Micromobility is often presented as a sustainable, affordable, and active urban transport option, in comparison to motorised modes. Understanding users routing preferences could help policymakers adapt and design facilities that attract a myriad of micromobility users. Whereas previous research largely focused solely on the built infrastructure, the ways in which sociodemographic factors affect micromobility route choice and infrastructure preferences are unclear. This study examines how elements of the built environment and sociodemographic attributes influence the route selection of 115 e-scooter and bike-share users in Barcelona, Spain. We also compare participants' GPS-tracked trips to the shortest path that they could have followed and develop a multilevel model to estimate how urban and sociodemographic factors affect the decision to deviate from the shortest path. The findings show that micromobility users rarely choose the shortest path since urban elements related to safety, accessibility and aesthetics seem to shape their wayfinding decisions. Results help us comprehend cyclists' and e-scooter riders' distinct route preferences and further illustrate how the gender identity of micromobility users influences route choice and detour. The models indicate that, on average, women take shorter detours than men. We observe gender differences in the way cyclists and e-scooter riders favour certain elements in their trips, such as parked cars and cycling infrastructure. Our findings offer valuable insights into how sociodemographic factors interact with infrastructure and built environment conditions to influence micromobility users' route choice and open up the potential to use these results to manage micromobility flows within cities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103664
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Bicycle
  • Built environment
  • Electric scooter
  • GPS
  • Route choice
  • Travel behaviour


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