Measuring the quality of the first/last mile connection to public transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - africa, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, mode - rail, planning - methods, planning - service quality, planning - surveys, planning - personal safety/crime, infrastructure - station, ridership - perceptions


First-last mile connectivity, User requirements, Multimodal level of service, Infrastructure audits


The first and last mile of the public transport trip is an important component of the overall quality experienced by a transit user. While individual modes used during the first/last mile (1LM) trip, such as walking and feeder buses, have been widely studied, the multimodal and diverse nature of the 1LM environment is rarely dealt with. The paper presents a methodology for assessing the quality of the 1LM environment that combines objective measures with user perceptions into a single index that can be applied at a route, station, or system level. Firstly a survey is undertaken to understand passengers’ requirements for the 1LM environment, from which importance weightings are derived for its different aspects. An environmental audit methodology is used for assessing 1LM quality, incorporating walkability, pedestrian level of service, and feeder bus metrics. The methodology is tested for the Gautrain rail service in Gauteng, South Africa. We find that passengers highly value security from crime on the 1LM trip, and that aspects of travel time and cost of the access trip are most in need of improvement. 1LM quality varies substantially between locations, especially between suburban and urban core areas, indicating areas that might be prioritised for attention.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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