Cycling / Developments / Innovation / ITS / Public transport

Revolution for the last mile

It’s amazing to see how rapidly things are changing in public transport. Just a couple of years ago the first and last mile – those to and from a stop or station – were big challenges but today technological and organisational innovations have created a completely different situation. Shared bicycle schemes now play an important role in this ‘last mile revolution.’

 

A common challenge is that fast and convenient PT rail and BRT systems move people between stops, but how do you get people to and from these stops? Transfers connecting bus lines that bring you closer to your destination are unattractive, also bus routes that enter residential or business areas are generally slow.

Today, when discussing PT issues with professionals in the Netherlands, within 5 minuets the discussion turns to shared bicycles, bicycle parking facilities, small electric vehicles, ride shares and Mobility as a Service. And it’s not just talk. New opportunities for these modes are appearing all the time. For instance, in Mobycon’s hometown of Delft, shared bicycle scheme Mobike provides seamless transport opportunities from rail and light rail stops to destinations within the city and at the University campus. At the same time, MaaS providers come up with new innovations for transport information, planning, reservation and payment for different transport modes, facilitating a seamless multi-modal transport experience.

The effect of these new developments is that PT can focus more and more on its core strengths: providing direct, fast, reliable, comfortable and efficient transportation for large groups of travellers between stops. New smart solutions help first and last mile developers focus on the core qualities of the PT-system that allow them to function as the backbone of a customer oriented and flexible transport supply.

At the Smart Public Transport Lab at TUDelft we discussed these developments with, among others, Silvain Haon, UITP director of knowledge and membership services at UITP. The conclusion was that it’s not just the Netherlands where this revolution is taking place. In many other cities the shared mobility and cycling combination with PT supply will develop as does the development of MaaS. We are eager to see how we can use our Dutch experience to improve the transport systems elsewhere as well.

 

 

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Otto Cazemier

Senior Advisor

‘I communicate tactical and practical strategies. Most of all, I am interested in traffic and transport processes where a variety of interests and stakeholders are involved. As a team player, I actively contribute to solutions and I am open to ideas from others.’

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