Preferences for first and last mile shared mobility between stops and activity locations: A case study of local public transport users in Utrecht, the Netherlands

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Abstract

Shared transport modes can potentially contribute to first and last mile connections of public transport (PT) trips but this remains quite underexplored in the literature. Our study explores the user preferences for shared modes as first and last mile option to connect activity locations. We have focussed on local public transport in the Utrecht province, The Netherlands, which includes bus and tram lines. Its diversity in land use and PT network density, the overall high bicycle usage, as well as the increased proliferation of shared mobility concepts yield promising information which can be a harbinger for future PT integration worldwide. For both the urban and suburban areas of the province, we have designed and conducted a stated choice experiment. Respondents were able to choose from shared bicycles, e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-mopeds to reach their urban destination from a PT stop. For suburban destinations, we also included light-electric vehicles (LEVs), e-cars, and demand-responsive taxi services. Such a complete list of possibilities to travel by shared modes allows comparing the different options and producing trade-offs not available yet in the literature. A sample of 499 respondents (285 urban and 214 suburban PT travellers) considered their first and last mile mode choice of a recent PT trip in light of the new options. Results show that shared (electric-)bicycles and e-scooters are generally preferred over other shared mobility options. The latter specifically targets younger people (<26 years) and travellers towards suburban destinations. Still, a majority of PT users prefers not to use shared modes in the first and last mile. We found that age, current cycling behaviour and weekday/weekend travelling are the most important factors which determine these preferences. We argue that shared bicycles and e-bikes are the most capable modes in providing benefits to PT travellers in this context and, given the relatively low travel time sensitivity, can best be distributed around the most important PT stops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-306
Number of pages22
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • First mile
  • Last mile
  • Micromobility
  • Mode choice
  • Public transit
  • Shared mobility
  • Transport integration

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