Challenging the first/last mile

For people who ride transit, their trip rarely begins when they board the bus or ends when they get out. Rather, their journey starts when they ride their bike from home to the bus stop or walk from the train station to the place of work. The connecting journeys before and after the transit ride can be influential enough to encourage or discourage a person to ride transit again, since the easier it is to access the system, the more likely people are to use it. Therefore, a first or last mile gap is a barrier that discourages potential riders from using transit because a station cannot be easily accessed from home, work, or other destinations since the lack of available transportation options.
Walking is undoubtedly the fastest and most convenient mode of transport for short-distance trips at urban scale and inside mixed-use complex buildings. A sound and reliable transport planning shall therefore include pedestrians and consider them among the most important actors who define, with their occasional and systematic movements, the multi-fold pattern of mobility flow.
Today, transit stops are located on the main roads and residents have to walk more than 10 minutes to reach them. For this reason, transit agencies and cities should develop and implement strategies to improve first and last mile connections to transit services, stops, and stations in order to facilitate a continuous and integrated travel experience and attract more riders. Improving access starts with creating urban environments with cohesive pedestrian and bicycle networks that are inviting and safe, with multiple transportation options available including shared transport systems, and with a comprehensive transit system. As such, best practice is to pursue multiple strategies that increase the number of transit access points and options.