Travellers’ preferences towards existing and emerging means of first/last mile transport: a case study for the Almere centrum railway station in the Netherlands

Bas Stam, Niels van Oort*, Hilke J. van Strijp-Harms, Stefan C. van der Spek, Serge P. Hoogendoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

First/last mile transport is essential for transit but is often found to be the weakest link in a trip. Moreover, as a result of multiple developments (e.g. demographic shifts, urbanization, climate change, technology advancement) first/last mile transport will likely change rapidly. The literature review of this study shows six different categories of factors affecting first/last mile mode choice: (1) traveller, (2) psychological, (3) first/last mile trip, (4) first/last mile modes, (5) built environment, and (6) main stage. We used this framework to understand and predict the complex process of mode choice, specifically given the emerge of new modes. The performed mode choice experiment shows varying results regarding the preferences of travellers for existing and new means of first/last mile transport. Four future scenarios (varying in level of sharing and flexibility of rides) are investigated. Traditional means of transport such as private vehicles and traditional ride services remain preferred over shared vehicles and on-demand ride services. For instance, 21% of the travellers chooses a private but no shared vehicle, and 12% chooses a traditional but no on-demand ride service. On the other hand, 21% of the travellers prefer a shared vehicle and 23% prefer an on-demand ride service whenever these vehicles/services are available. These results illustrate that when mode choice factors are absent and there are no restrictions taken into account (for example the possession of a car and driving license when choosing car), the actual chosen means of transport in the current situation differs from the preferred means of transport in the future. The results also show potential for new, emerging, means of first/last mile transport. According to the ‘preferred situation’ by travellers, transit nodes and first/last mile systems require a different design regarding first/last mile facilities, dependent on the scenario(s) that will develop. The challenge for decision makers and planners is to steer mode choice decisions in the direction according to their policy objectives, where our insights support the corresponding design choices and policy interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Transport Research Review
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Emerging modes
  • First/last mile transport
  • Mode choice
  • On-demand rides
  • Preferences
  • Scenario’s
  • Shared mobility

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