ITE Journal May 2018 - 47

For transit users, getting to the nearest bus stop, rail station,
or other facility can be challenging when it comes to safety,
convenience, and cost. A fixed-route transit system can't reach
every origin or destination, but to be effective, it should serve
as many users as possible from a common point. The challenge
becomes effectively connecting users to transit in a safe, convenient,
and efficient manner.

What is Last Mile Connectivity?
Throughout the United States, there are many instances where
transit stops are provided, but there is little to no pedestrian access.
To get from the transit stop to their final destination, or from their
destination back to the transit stop, people often have short trips.
Last mile connectivity provides people with a modal choice beyond
the personal car by offering safe, comfortable, and convenient
options for accessing fixed-route transit systems.
You can often visibly see the need for accessibility around transit
stops: desire lines and areas with worn vegetation form as people
take the most direct path to their destination. Filling the gaps and
providing full sidewalk connectivity for pedestrians is a cost-effective and easily implementable way to improve last mile connectivity
and encourage transit usage. Transit stops and their proximity to
safe pedestrian crossing locations with appropriate traffic control
treatments should also be considered.
Beyond pedestrian improvements, providing bike facilities
can improve last mile connectivity, as well as encourage modal
shift to alternative means of transportation beyond personal cars.
Shared and dedicated bike lanes promote safe and convenient
bike usage to and from transit facilities. Further, bike storage
and repair facilities at transit stations or places of employment
and bike racks on buses or trains provide users with the ease of a
multimodal trip without concern for where to keep their bicycle.
Furthermore, bikeshare programs across the country provide an
easily accessible way to commute by bicycle, not requiring riders
to even own their own bike.
Over the last few years there have been several new technologies
and innovations that have further enhanced last mile connectivity
and door to door transportation. Ride-hailing services such as Uber
and Lyft have had a significant impact on getting transit riders to
and from their final destination. Several transit systems have even
partnered with ride-hailing services to enhance last mile connectivity for their users. The partnerships have provided financial
incentives and promotions for first-time riders, direct compatibility
between transit smartphone applications and the ride-hailing
applications, as well as "guaranteed ride home programs" for when
transit service may not be available.
Other emerging transit technologies that address the last mile
connectivity issue include flex-route bus service. Like with a fixed
route, the transit vehicle, often a small bus, keeps to a regular

schedule but can deviate from the route within a fixed area to serve
more users and connect them to a higher capacity fixed-route
service. Additionally, microtransit services offer a demand-response
ride-hailing service that serves multiple users at a time with a small
transit vehicle. Flex-route and microtransit services are mostly
being rolled out in areas that do not support a larger fixed-route
transit system.
Communities are also starting to plan for autonomous
vehicle technology. Autonomous shuttle services are being tested
nationwide and are demonstrated in smaller, low-density areas
which then feed into a higher capacity, fixed-route service. With
lower speeds and a lighter capacity than traditional transit buses,
these shuttles are operationally suited for last mile trips.

Importance of Last Mile Connectivity on Modal Shift
One of the greatest obstacles to modal shift is accessibility to
transit. In many communities, streets are designed for the
efficient movement of automobiles with less regard for pedestrian
safety at transit stops, along sidewalks, or at pedestrian crossings.
There are countless examples of bus stops located far from a
safe and accessible pedestrian crossing, thereby creating unsafe
conditions for transit users and potentially discouraging people
from riding. Encouraging and promoting emerging technologies
that provide users with safe, convenient last-mile connections
is key to giving users a true modal choice when it comes
to transportation.
Increasingly connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) can
have a significant role in increasing and improving public transit.
By utilizing CAV technologies, transit applications can better
provide flexible and accessible transit options into and around
urban areas. This technology can also help intercept single occupant
vehicles (SOVs) with easy-to-use park-and-ride transit options
before SOVs enter core congested urban areas.

Measuring Modal Shift
As populations continue to grow, programs encouraging modal
shift have evolved and new technology-based advancements in
communication and services, such as on-demand mobility, have
entered the market. It's critical for existing programs to revisit
current strategies to coordinate activities for increased efficiencies,
improved performance, and continued success.
Historically, we've relied on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as
the primary, if not sole, measurement of success in modal shift.
Beyond being cumbersome to calculate, communicating VMT
as a valuable result of activities is equally as difficult. This has
resulted in a movement to baseline VMT consistently across
all programs within a state in an effort to better communicate
the true value of transit programs. By consistently defining
traditional and auxiliary benefits of program delivery, we can
w w w .i t e.o r g

May 2018

47


http://www.ite.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal May 2018

President’s Message
Director’s Message
People in the Profession
ITE News
ITE, FHWA, and Carmanah Rally to Keep Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons in Our Safety Toolbox
Improving Arterial Roads to Support Public Health: How Can We Do This?
ITE’s Transportation and Health Initiative
Technical Programs Division Spotlight
Industry News
Calendar
Where in the World?
Member to Member: Jing Zhang, AICP, PTP, LEED AP ND
Countermeasures Prove Effective in Reducing Bicycle Collisions
Guidance on Signal Control Strategies for Pedestrians to Improve Walkability
Factors Affecting Vehicle Passing Distance and Encroachments While Overtaking Cyclists
Measuring the Success of Modal Shift: The Impact on Last Mile Connectivity
Professional Services Directory
ITE Journal May 2018 - 1
ITE Journal May 2018 - 2
ITE Journal May 2018 - 3
ITE Journal May 2018 - President’s Message
ITE Journal May 2018 - 5
ITE Journal May 2018 - Director’s Message
ITE Journal May 2018 - 7
ITE Journal May 2018 - People in the Profession
ITE Journal May 2018 - 9
ITE Journal May 2018 - 10
ITE Journal May 2018 - ITE News
ITE Journal May 2018 - ITE, FHWA, and Carmanah Rally to Keep Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons in Our Safety Toolbox
ITE Journal May 2018 - Improving Arterial Roads to Support Public Health: How Can We Do This?
ITE Journal May 2018 - 14
ITE Journal May 2018 - 15
ITE Journal May 2018 - 16
ITE Journal May 2018 - ITE’s Transportation and Health Initiative
ITE Journal May 2018 - 18
ITE Journal May 2018 - Technical Programs Division Spotlight
ITE Journal May 2018 - Industry News
ITE Journal May 2018 - 21
ITE Journal May 2018 - Where in the World?
ITE Journal May 2018 - 23
ITE Journal May 2018 - 24
ITE Journal May 2018 - 25
ITE Journal May 2018 - 26
ITE Journal May 2018 - Member to Member: Jing Zhang, AICP, PTP, LEED AP ND
ITE Journal May 2018 - 28
ITE Journal May 2018 - Countermeasures Prove Effective in Reducing Bicycle Collisions
ITE Journal May 2018 - 30
ITE Journal May 2018 - 31
ITE Journal May 2018 - 32
ITE Journal May 2018 - 33
ITE Journal May 2018 - 34
ITE Journal May 2018 - Guidance on Signal Control Strategies for Pedestrians to Improve Walkability
ITE Journal May 2018 - 36
ITE Journal May 2018 - 37
ITE Journal May 2018 - 38
ITE Journal May 2018 - 39
ITE Journal May 2018 - Factors Affecting Vehicle Passing Distance and Encroachments While Overtaking Cyclists
ITE Journal May 2018 - 41
ITE Journal May 2018 - 42
ITE Journal May 2018 - 43
ITE Journal May 2018 - 44
ITE Journal May 2018 - 45
ITE Journal May 2018 - Measuring the Success of Modal Shift: The Impact on Last Mile Connectivity
ITE Journal May 2018 - 47
ITE Journal May 2018 - 48
ITE Journal May 2018 - 49
ITE Journal May 2018 - Professional Services Directory
ITE Journal May 2018 - 51
ITE Journal May 2018 - 52
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