Bolt shifts 60% of users from cars to e-scooters using gentle encouragement, according to new data 

Shared mobility operator Bolt shifts 60% of users from cars to e-scooters for shorter trips, according to new data from a pilot programme.

In 2021, Estonia-based firm Bolt ran a scheme designed to switch travellers from ride-hailing to scooters during shorter trips.

Randomly selected groups of Bolt customers from 10 European cities were given in-app encouragement to consider an e-scooter trip for any journeys shorter than 3km. 

These groups were then compared to groups that didn’t receive the same encouragement, and data resulting from three waves of piloting was then independently analysed by experts at the Institute of Transport Economics (TØI) in Oslo Norway.

According to the final results, up to 60% of users on average shifted to an e-scooter, if the scooter was 300 metres away or closer. 

Martin Villig, co-founder of Bolt, said: “Bolt is on a mission to advocate for better cities built around people. Encouraging customers to use scooters and bikes to replace personal vehicles and short car trips is part of that mission. We are constantly working with cities to make sure our scooters fit in the urban transportation ecosystem. The report we are launching today confirms that our app is the ideal tool to help build more sustainable commuting habits because customers can be encouraged to shift from cars to scooters, according to the distance they travel. This can significantly reduce pollution but also help manage urban congestion.” 

Bolt said the implications from the findings are considerable, as most car trips in Europe are less than 5km, while 25% of Bolt’s car hailing trips are shorter than 3km. 

The most success in shifting to e-scooters came in cities where there is high availability of scooters, like Lisbon where there was a 210% increase. 

Bolt also found significant results in Stockholm (40% increase), Gothenburg (54%), Oslo (42%), Krakow (68%), and Madrid (41%). 

Bjørn Gjerde Johansen, Chief Research Economist at the research area Economic Models at the Institute of Transport Economics, said: “TØI carries out research aiming to advise authorities, the transport industry and the public at large. This report analyses data from an experiment in which Bolt`s app-users were encouraged to switch from ride hailing to e-scooters. We found the share of users choosing e-scooters to be higher in virtually all experiments and the results demonstrate that encouraging users through changing information in multimodal interfaces can be an effective way of switching users away from cars, at no cost to the user.”  

Read more: Tier scooters launch in Belgium

Bolt says it will continue to work with the TØI to work together on a modal shift programme.  

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