Replicable Methodology for Transportation Agencies to Identify Priority Areas for First and Last Mile Solutions at the Regional Level

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, technology - geographic information systems, planning - methods, land use - impacts, land use - planning


planning and analysis, congestion mitigation or reduction, planning methods, regional planning, public transportation, GIS, accessibility and mobility


First and last mile (FLM) solutions that enhance connections to fixed-route transit offer multifaceted benefits, yet relatively few transportation agencies have developed comprehensive regional strategies or plans to support implementation. There is a lack of guidance and replicable methodologies that transportation agencies can use to conduct regional spatial analysis or screening for priority areas to invest in FLM solutions at a regional scale. This paper presents a replicable, step-by-step methodology and accompanying visual aids for metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), transportation management associations (TMAs), and transit agencies to identify priority areas for investment in FLM solutions. This methodology was developed through two related studies conducted in 2021 by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the MPO for the 13-county northern New Jersey region. This methodology can be replicated using readily available data from the U.S. Census Bureau and transit agencies, along with simple analytic processes in geographic information systems (GIS) software including buffers, spatial difference, intersection, and filtering. Agencies can tailor this methodology based on the types of fixed-route transit facilities under consideration, the distances that FLM solutions may cover, and whether agencies are seeking to prioritize employment clusters, residential clusters, and/or transit hubs for future investment. The paper concludes with a discussion of the various applications and limitations of regional analyses and planning for FLM solutions.


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