As a commuter, I know very well how important the „last mile“ is. Every morning I think about how to get to my almost beloved RB40 from Magdeburg to Braunschweig. The „last mile“ describes the distance from the last stop of public transport to the final destination1. Often, this short distance is crucial in deciding whether to use public transport or the car. As mentioned before, the car is currently a solution, but there must be another way. Because driving a car in the morning trough a city full of other people is totally uncool2. The „last mile“ is often the deciding factor in whether people use public transport or prefer to take the car. After a long train ride, the temptation to get into the car is great if you have a long walk ahead of you.

In my city, there are now almost everywhere e-scooters. The outcry was huge because they were distributed in the city overnight. Most criticism came from people who neither have to bridge the last mile nor have ever used such scooters3. I quite like using them to bridge the last mile. It is practical, fast, and environmentally friendly. Besides, it’s fun to whiz through the streets on the e-scooter. The criticism that these things stand in the way and are mostly not parked properly is unfortunately not unfounded4. But station-based rental models of scooters and bikes are much more orderly and tidy, but unfortunately not as attractive for the last mile as free-float models, where the scooters can be parked anywhere in the traffic area5. Even if that might disturb the city’s appearance, in my eyes, streets parked on both sides with cars are just as bad.

The last mile remains a challenge for all commuters, but also for traffic planners to make public transport more attractive. But with a little creativity, we can overcome it. As a commuter, I try to support public transport and protect the environment – even if that sometimes means taking a few extra steps, which according to my fitness tracker, is supposedly not so bad for me.6

  1. Link / rolph / Die berühmte „Letzte Meile“ ↩︎
  2. Link / blog / Knebelschalter the final boss for UI ↩︎
  3. Link / mdr / Wie es mit den E-Scootern in Magdeburg weitergeht ↩︎
  4. Link / opd / E-Scooters Return To Portland Despite Concern Over Accessibility, Inclusivity ↩︎
  5. Link / sciencedirect / Shared bikes vs. private e-scooters. Understanding patterns of use and demand in a policy-constrained micromobility environment ↩︎
  6. Link / ncbi / A Longitudinal Study of Fitbit Usage Behavior Among College Students ↩︎