The last mile problem relates to the difficulty of getting people from transport hubs, like railway and bus stations, to their homes in a timely and cost efficient manner. Simply put train lines and bus routes do not run directly to each and every persons home. If the means of getting from the transport hub to their homes are too onerous people will choose private transport. This is the last mile problem as it relates to transit agencies. In this blog we'll look at how microtransit can alleviate the last mile problem.
In this blog I’ve put together some of the latest information and trends in the area of microtransit and what best practice looks like in this fast evolving area. If there's anything I’ve left out or you’d like to know more on any topic please post a comment below or email me directly. I’ll do my best to keep updating this blog as new reports and technical developments occur.
A common trend globally is the decline of bus use by the public. There are many reasons for this and nearly as many reports arguing over which factors have the most impact on ridership. Ultimately the nuances of why ridership drops are different for different cities but the main factors are common to all:
Big leaps in A.I are happening so fast that they are hard to keep track of. You may have heard of an A.I milestone which occurred in June when IBM’s Project Debater drew with human debaters. Or that a program built by two Carnegie Mellon researchers beat several top poker players over a 20 day contest. But why are these big events? And does this mean that A.I could really be trusted to make decisions to boost revenue in mobility solutions for the likes of car-sharing and on-demand micro-transit?
I vividly remember my first company-car. The fleet guy showed up with my brand new shiny Mazda 626, handed me the keys and then proceeded to talk about this feature and that feature - this button and that button. But I didn’t hear a thing - I was too busy waiting for him to go so I could take it for a spin. That ‘new-car-smell’ that I for one had never experienced before. In fact, that shiny new car was a good 10 years newer than the family car at the time. Oh and get this, I wasn’t even in Sales! Yes, this was back in the day where the company car was seen a huge perk/employee retention tool and the big push to get promoted had virtually nothing to do with the increase in responsibility and higher salary - no - it was all about that much coveted and elusive company car. It’s all me and my peers talked about!
These days of course, companies have long since cottoned on this ‘perk’ and it’s virtually unheard of in the majority of corporates today to get a company car unless you’re in Sales (or the MD!). But let’s talk about those sales people. Even the busiest - and in this sense we’ll define ‘busiest’ as those doing above average on-site customer visits - are only actually in the car about 20% of their time. And corporates can have literally hundreds of expensive vehicles sitting idle for most of the time.
Using Simulators to assess On-Demand Microtransit
Setting up an on-demand micro-transit operation is a significant commitment of time and money so it pays to do your homework as much as possible and get On-Demand right the first time. One of the best ways to do this is with a simulation that can model various service scenarios and provide performance metrics like wait time and cost per trip for each scenario. Simulations can address the important concerns municipalities and transit agencies have when setting up and on-demand service.
The Key to Car Sharing Success – Data Analysis
You’ve got your fleet of cars, you’ve negotiated with third parties for parking spaces and you’ve spent money and time on marketing to get members, so you’re all set right? Wrong! Now you need to start analysing your data.