Research: Measuring the impacts of dockless micro-mobility services on public transit accessibility
This month, an article was published in the journal Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, co-authored by previous CURA Graduate Researcher, Luyu Liu, and Director, Harvey Miller. This study highlighted micromobility, accesibility, and public transportation.
Dockless micromobility services have potential as a fast and flexible solution to short-distance trips and public transit's first-mile/last-mile (FM/LM) access problem; however, these services also have limitations, including uneven spatial distribution, low capacity, and user out of pocket expense. This can impact on the ability of micromobility to enhance public transit accessibility. We introduce accessibility increment measures – the amount by which public transit accessibility improves due to micromobility services. We apply these measures to hypothetical trips using public transit and micromobility data from Columbus, Ohio, USA. We find dockless scooters can increase accessibility by multimodal public transit trips, with increments in the first mile significantly outweighing last mile accessibility increments. Accessibility increments are highly concentrated in the city center due to the distributions of scooters and bus stops. We also find that scooters' accessibility increment contribution is highly unequal: a small number of scooters contribute most of the accessibility increments. Monetary cost simulations show that the first-mile accessibility increment will rapidly decrease and last-mile increment slightly increase with lower willingness to pay. Capacity simulations show a group of users' accessibility increment will rapidly decrease as the group size increases, but this depends on whether they are competing or collaborating for scooters. Our results show that despite showing promising potentials, vendors and policymakers still need to address these issues to make collaboration between public transit and dockless micromobility sustainable and equitable. The paper provides measures and evidence for future transit and micromobility planning for scooter vendors and transit authorities.
Authors: Liu, L., & Miller, H. J. (2022). Measuring the impacts of dockless micro-mobility services on public transit accessibility. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 98, 101885. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2022.101885