City of Reno: Evaluation of electric scooter pilot program (equity of access to low-income and non-English speaking residents)

Project title

Evaluation of Electric Scooter Pilot Program — Equity of Access and Education and Outreach to Low-Income and Non-English Speaking Residents

Research question

Are low-income and non-English speaking residents using electric scooters, how effective are the education and outreach efforts to these demographics, and what strategies may be more effective in increasing ridership? 


In the State of Nevada, the transportation sector generates 35% of greenhouse gas emissions representing the largest percentage by sector. Reno is a car-dependent city. Most commute-to-work trips and errands require a car resulting in 25% of local greenhouse gas emissions coming from passenger vehicle use.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) is investing in transportation infrastructure to provide residents with more transportation choices. Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will encourage people to leave their cars behind. RTC has built 230 miles of on-street bike facilities and 86 miles of off-street facilities in Reno. The comprehensive Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan identifies and prioritizes 339 additional miles of sidewalk and 116 miles of bicycle facilities to be constructed by 2040.

The City of Reno adopted its first Sustainability & Climate Action Plan, which calls for a 28% reduction in climate pollution by 2025 and 40% by 2030. Expanding use of shared, micromobility alternatives is one of the actions identified to transition to low-carbon commutes. The city implemented an electric scooter pilot program to test and evaluate use of these devices as a micromobility solution.

This research project will assess electric scooter usage in low-income and non-English speaking communities. The research will analyze education and outreach tactics utilized and whether the tactics were effective in reaching these demographics. The project will also recommend improvements in the education and outreach strategy designed to increase ridership in these communities.

The city would like to gain an understanding of how electric scooters will help the city and RTC to achieve goals for establishing a more safe, sustainable and equitable transportation system.


University of Nevada, Reno Public Health Diversity Advisor, Baldo Bobadilla, with the Nevada Public Health Training Center is interested in serving as mentor for this project. The electric scooter vendor captures an array of data from users and rides. Access to the anonymized data will be provided for analysis to identify low-income and non-English speaking users. The city may also collaborate with the vendor to conduct a survey designed by the team to gather additional information as needed. The vendor and city will also provide the education and outreach plan and specific elements of the plan that were implemented. Key components of the project include:

  • Evaluation of the percentage of users that are low-income or non-English speaking.
  • Review and evaluation of the education and outreach plan and plan elements.
  • Evaluate of user data and changes following education and outreach activities.
  • Recommendations on changes to education and outreach plan and plan elements designed to engage low-income and non-English speaking residents and visitors, and to increase ridership in these demographics.

You will deliver a report of findings and recommendations.

Suggested skills

Research, writing, analysis

Agency representative

Lynne Barker
(775) 334-2288