Comparing different transit strategies to tackle the last-mile issue in low demand areas Case study: York Region Transit
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Providing public transit service in low-density suburban areas is very challenging and inefficient because development patterns and transit demand do not support regular scheduled bus services while flexible and on-demand service is very expensive to provide. A further issue is that effective public transit is essential for providing equal access to opportunities for the residents of these areas. This is a controversial issue in most Canadian cities where they have difficulties in providing sustainable public transit. Building upon the knowledge gained from an overview of the literature, this study aims at contributing to a better understanding of the crucial factors that influence the performance of public transit in low-density areas and develops a framework for evaluating different strategies for providing first/last mile transit service. In order to accomplish this goal the literature of transit system performance measures as well as transit mode choice are reviewed and 7 major criteria are selected: safety & security, cost, time, flexibility, comfort, coverage, and availability of information. Secondly, a systematic literature review is conducted to identify different strategies that can be implemented as a last mile solution in low density areas. Employing the seven criteria in an evaluation framework, these possible strategies are explained and compared. A case study using real data from York Region Transit (YRT) were utilized for comparing the two most common on-demand last mile strategies in the region. Results showed that outsourcing transit rides to instant ride-hailing companies –e.g. Uber- is financially beneficial to YRT and offers more coverage for potential riders, providing that reliability of their service is secured.
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Samaneh Mozayani (2019). Comparing different transit strategies to tackle the last-mile issue in low demand areas Case study: York Region Transit. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15137