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COMMENT: The ‘last mile’ is within reach

Christopher Boll and Steven Hilfinger envision a future of a la carte commuting solutions made possible through connected and autonomous vehicles

One of the most vexing mobility issues is the ‘last-mile problem’. For commuters without access to cars or who choose to live without one, their lives revolve around readily available public transit. But, when reliant upon public transit, commuters often face the reality that a bus or subway never quite arrives near their actual destination. Rail lines are fixed in the ground and bus routes do not adapt to rider demands. Because of these fixed transit routes, there is often a dead zone between a transit system and a commuter’s destination that is commonly referred to as a ‘transit desert’. Bridging the gap between fixed transit routes and transit deserts is an issue known as the last-mile problem. This issue has faced transit officials ever since the first streetcars were pulled down New York City streets nearly two centuries ago….

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