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Public transit authorities and transport operators realise that one of the most important problems cities are facing is the lack of first and last mile services that connect travellers to and from transport hubs, making public transit more convenient and attractive. The goal is to boost ridership and reduce private car traffic and pollution on city streets. The need to increase ridership is even more urgent due to the impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis.

 

 

Why are the first and last mile options so important for an efficient transportation system?

The first mile and last mile connection describes the beginning and end of journeys travellers make in order to reach a destination. The terms refer primarily to commuters who make regular trips in and out of city centres and often rely on private autos because public transport is not convenient or efficient. Other gaps in the transportation networks that deter public transport use include the need to walk long distances, disconnected sidewalks, poor crosswalks, inexistent or insufficient bike facilities, and lack of car-sharing options.

 

 

Most people would like to see urban traffic decline and air quality improve. It all starts with the first mile. An efficient first and last mile system can improve the safety of the travellers and reduce the environmental impact of private auto traffic.

 

And what can transportation authorities and operators do to improve the quality of life in their communities?

When it comes to the choices the transportation authorities and operators have, the list is not so long, and they usually end-up evaluating the three options below:

 

 

  1. 1. Continue with the status quo which usually requires increased investments in an auto-centric infrastructure–building, operating and maintaining new car parks or widening roads.

 

  1. 2. Expand fixed-route bus lines which translates into considerable costs, especially in cases where the ridership is low and configured for peak demand hours, resulting in empty buses much of the time.

 

  1. 3. Choose to invest in innovative technologies that enable on-demand transportation solutions, expand the mobility access and offer a seamless and reliable service for travellers. Minimizing the wait times and commute times are what will attract commuters, reduce traffic, and maximize the efficiency of the public transportation.

 

 

Because an efficient transportation system is essential for well-functioning, sustainable cities, it is important to embrace new and innovative solutions. This is just what most cities and transportation authorities are doing. First and last mile pilots and projects are being implemented and tested all around the world with very good results.

 

 

As an example, Bestmile enabled SBB Services in Zug and Fribourg, Switzerland, to provide a first and last mile shuttle, while La Ruche TL used the Bestmile Platform to launch FlexiBus, a personalized on-demand public transport service in Lausanne.

 

 

How can Bestmile’s first and last mile Dynamic Demand Responsive Transport (DDRT) help?

A transport service orchestrated by the Bestmile Fleet Orchestration Platform will address many of the challenges associated with the first and last mile for the regular traveller described earlier. For example:

 

 

  1. 1. Bestmile provides users with a Traveller App that allows them to get real-time data about vehicle locations and routes, and status of the service. Users can choose the option that suits best their schedule.

 

  1. 2. Through the same app travellers can book a ride in a few clicks, get accurate Estimated Time of Arrival (ETAs) and provide feedback about the service. The customer will also enjoy best-in-class matching with the vehicles and reduced wait and ride times. Better rider management and user-friendly reservation tools will provide a better customer experience and will encourage people to use the public service more and more.

 

 

Bestmile’s Fleet Orchestration can help the authorities and operators implement a transit solution that reduces congestion, promotes sustainable growth and supports the city’s economic development. A service orchestrated by Bestmile will provide benefits such as:

 

 

  1. 1. A dashboard view of the entire fleet, with the location and status of each vehicle visible and as well as ride requests and vehicle and service performance metrics.

 

  1. 2. Improved vehicle utilization through real-time dispatching, automated vehicle location, real-time fleet monitoring and optimized missions. For example, as the Bestmile Fleet Orchestration Platform’s algorithms work in real-time, as demand changes the vehicles’ plans will be re-optimised so that the vehicle can continue to earn revenues.

 

  1. 3. Integration with MaaS platform or other external systems to provide updated real-time arrival times. If the public transport is delayed, the Bestmile Platform will know and will adjust the pick-up time.

 

  1. 4. The Bestmile Platform optimises shared rides, so people travelling in the same direction can share a ride, which will also reduce congestion in the cities and around transport hubs. It will also help achieve the emissions targets. The Bestmile Platform ensures that no traveller is unduly disrupted by always ensuring that travel times for shared rides always remain with pre-set targets.

 

 

Summary

Without first and last mile solutions and investments in innovative transport technology, there is a risk that the significant potential for growth for the cities will be suffocated by congestion. The Bestmile Fleet Orchestration Platform can enable a successful first and last mile service to be implemented quickly and easily.

 

 

About Bestmile

Bestmile provides an intelligent transportation operating platform for mobility service operators enabling them to build predictable, reliable and convenient mobility services for their travellers. Bestmile’s Fleet Orchestration Platform allows for the intelligent operation and optimisation of human-driven and autonomous vehicle fleets working together or separately, regardless of their brand or type.

 

 

Bestmile’s premise is that the future of mobility isn’t in the vehicles themselves, but in what they can offer when they’re operated and managed within a strategic collaboration in an integrated ecosystem.

 

 

Bestmile’s technology is leading the on-demand transit space. The Bestmile Platform supports every on-demand operating model (station to station, door to door, instant and pre-booking, individual and shared rides), enabling optimised and dynamic services. In addition, it can either be used as a turnkey solution or integrated with existing transport systems to empower them with its optimisation capabilities.

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