The transportation infrastructure that is available for walkers, riders, and rollers between the first and last parts of their journey to get to their mode of transportation, whether it be a station or bus stop, is called the first-last mile connection.1 This infrastructure connection has become more desirable in order to accommodate for all road users.2 Individuals are deterred from walking more than a quarter of a mile to get to their local mode of public transportation, and ensuring that road users have sufficient infrastructure at the first and last parts of their journey will help make public transportation more accessible and convenient.
Improved first-last mile infrastructure will allow greater accessibility and connectivity to vulnerable road users (including disabled people) who need to take public transportation to get to their destinations.1 This also helps promote a healthier lifestyle by encouraging active forms of transportation like biking and walking.
With technology advancing around the world, local governments and city planners are able to explore unique ways to incorporate technology into improving the lives of their citizens. In certain cities across the United States, there are location-specific phone applications that allow people to put in requests stating that they want transportation to and from a particular destination.3 Local governments can also use funding and knowledge from the advancement of new technology to explore and improve accessibility to public transportation.
The First Transit program in Portland, Oregon has an established partnership with Lyft that allows access to the city’s bike share system to encourage direct rides to transit.
Flexible Microtransit provides on-demand services so that riders can directly request a trip to the location they need to go. The experience has been greatly improved for the benefit of the user.
1. Metro. First/Last Mile. https://www.metro.net/about/first-last/#:~:text=The%20first%20and%20last%20part,safety%20of%20public%20streets%20and
2. Ward, E. (2020). What is the First-and-Last-Mile Problem and Why It Matters. Endred Benefits. https://commuterbenefits.com/2020/11/what-is-the-first-and-last-mile-problem-and-why-it-matters/
3. Remix. (2021). How Cities Can Solve the First and Last Mile Problem. https://www.remix.com/blog/solving-the-first-and-last-mile-problem