E-scooters boost local economies

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Register for a free webinar with Dan McCarthy and Kyeongbin Kim (Sep. 15th) where we’ll discuss their key findings.
Download the full paper here: Wheels to Meals: Measuring the Impact of Micromobility on Restaurant Demand.

Electric scooters are a convenient and fun last mile transit medium, but what do they do for local economies? Researchers from Emory University, Kyeongbin Kim and Daniel McCarthy, set out to answer this question using data from Earnest Research. When a city introduces a program, what happens to restaurant spending, how does this translate into overall spending in the local economy, and are there any differences by city or company?

They answered this by analyzing all 49 e-scooter programs that were first introduced over the summer 2018 period. Through Earnest Research’s unique credit card dataset, they were able to observe consumer spending in the restaurant category and across all tagged in-store transactions, as well as the city those consumers lived and spent in, allowing them to see how spending changed after e-scooter programs were introduced in those particular cities.

What did they uncover? Some key findings:

  • Individual restaurant spending increases by 4.4%, or more than $10 million annually in the cities they study
  • Gains in restaurant spending are not offset by losses in non-restaurant local spending
  • Businesses with higher historical revenue, selling at lower prices, tend to benefit more
  • E-scooter program introduction aids discovery of new restaurants, but may be more beneficial for repeat business from already-acquired customers
  • Cities with younger age demographics tend to benefit more, but there were no major differences for cities in terms of climate or existing public transit infrastructure

The increase in spending is meaningful in terms of sales tax revenue and profit lift to the restaurant sector. In Dallas, for example, at least half the cost of the rollout is covered by incremental sales tax revenue, and more than 100% coming from profit lift to restaurants.

Register for a free webinar with Dan McCarthy and Kyeongbin Kim (Sep. 15th) where we’ll discuss their findings.
Download the full paper here: Wheels to Meals: Measuring the Impact of Micromobility on Restaurant Demand.


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