What Is “First/Last Mile”?
An individual’s trip is understood as the entire journey from origin to destination. Individuals may use a number of modes (types) of transport to complete the journey – they may walk, drive, ride a bicycle, take a train, or - in many cases - combine a number of modes. Bus and rail services often form the core of a trip, but users complete the first and last portion on their own. For example, they must first walk, bike, drive or roll themselves to and from the nearest station. This is referred to as the first and last mile of the user’s trip, or “first/last mile” (FLM) for short. Actual distances vary by trip.
What is the First/Last Mile Strategic Plan?
The Plan is an approach for identifying barriers and planning and implementing improvements for the first/last mile portions of an individual’s journey. It provides an adaptable vision for addressing FLM improvements in a systematic way, and results in data and information to justify taking those actions. Examples of FLM improvements include the following:
- Infrastructure for walking, rolling, and biking (e.g. bike lanes, bike parking, sidewalks, and crosswalks)
- Shared use services (e.g. bike share and car share)
- Facilities for making modal connections (e.g. kiss and ride and bus/rail interface)
- Signage and way-finding, and information and technology that eases travel (e.g. information kiosks and mobile apps)
Why is first/last mile important?
- Expands the transit experience
- Improves safety
- Enhances visual aesthetics
- In 2015, the American Planning Association awarded Metro and SCAG the National Planning Excellence Award for the Plan. For more information, visit the APA award page here .