Assessment of the First-and-Last-Mile Problem in Underserved Communities: Case Study in Camden City, NJ

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, ridership - disadvantage, policy - equity, planning - surveys


public transportation, fisrt and last mile, accessibility, geographic information systems, AHP


The first-/last-mile (FLM) trip is the distance a person needs to complete before boarding a transit stop or after alighting. Challenges to completing the FLM trip significantly affect disadvantaged groups who are highly reliant on transit, including people with disability, people of color, older populations, and low-income travelers. To evaluate the FLM trip, this study referred to the current literature and identified the factors associated with challenges in completing the FLM trip. The identified elements were categorized into safety, accessibility, demographic, and health-related factors. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method was utilized to weigh these factors and evaluate the FLM problem in the study area, Camden City, New Jersey. To implement this, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to transportation professionals in New Jersey. The experts were required to rank the importance of each factor based on their experience and in consideration of the study area. Finally, the study utilized the multi-criteria analysis AHP approach supported by ArcGIS to model the problem spatially. A data inventory of Camden City was completed to run the spatial analysis. The outcome presented in this paper is a spatial evaluation of the FLM barriers in the study area. In addition, it provides a prioritization of the factors associated with FLM issues concerning underserved communities. This research offers a comprehensive approach to understanding the barriers to fair and accessible transportation systems and helps professionals overcome these barriers and maintain equitable transportation networks.


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