On Tuesday, March 5, 2019, The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Scooter-pocalypse: The When, Where, and Why of Scooter-sharing Services

Grant McKenzie

McGill University

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)



We are currently in the midst of a technology-induced revolution in transportation. Ride-hailing services, short-term car rentals, and autonomous vehicles are altering the transportation status-quo. Within this environment, electric, short-term, scooter-sharing services are experiencing explosive growth and adoption in urban centers. Presented as a solution to the last-mile problem, privately funded scooter-share companies have inundated urban centers so quickly that municipal governments are struggling to evaluate the impacts on existing services, determine legality, and assess citizen safety. In much the same way that ride-hailing platforms are disrupting traditional taxi services, the introduction of this new mode of short-trip travel is shifting both public perception and actual usage of existing transportation systems. In this talk McKenzie will present ongoing work on exploring the nuanced spatial and temporal activity patterns of scooter-sharing services, contrasting them with government-funded bike-sharing and traditional motorized vehicle usage. In addition, he will discuss the sociodemographic divide in scooter usage in Washington, D.C. through a spatial lens.


Grant McKenzie is an Assistant Professor of Geoinformatics in the Department of Geography at McGill University. Prior to this appointment, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park and an affiliate faculty in the Center for Geospatial Information Science. At McGill, McKenzie leads the Platial Analysis Lab, an interdisciplinary research group that works at the intersection of information science and behavioral geography. Much of his work examines how human activities vary within and between local neighborhoods and global communities. This has driven his applied interests in financial accessibility, geoprivacy, and micro-mobility services as well as the broader role that GIScience plays at the intersection of information technologies and society. McKenzie is a founding member of the Seattle-based start-up consultancy Spatial Development International and has worked as a data scientist and software developer for a range of NGOs and leading technology companies.

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts.

Please contact Werner Kuhn ( to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

Follow spatial@ucsb on Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

ThinkSpatial: Grant McKenzie