The Last Mile Project

August 30, 2017


    Mooviters Help Solve The Last Mile Challenge in Lombardy, Italy

    The “last mile challenge” threatens urban mobility globally. In many regions urban sprawl has created large gaps in public transit systems. People, goods, services, and the infrastructure to move them, radiate out of a metropolitan focal point but ultimately reach a final stop before the final destination.The challenge is to design a system that can conveniently get people to their final destination. The “last mile’ is rarely a problem for those city dwellers but can have a profound impact on rural commuters. The challenge for public transportation is to design a system that allows commuters to seamlessly reach their final destination. For many commuters, the inconvenience is too great, causing them to find other means of transportation. Agencies work hard to find solutions that suit their region and the needs of their commuters.  

    The Last Mile Project was initiated by the public transit agency, Trenord, in Lombardy, Italy. Lombardy is a characteristically mobile city, relying heavily on public transportation. More than 714,000 people travel on Trenord trains every day, amounting to approximately 180 million passengers per year. To promote rider convenience, Trenord includes a trip planner on its website. However, the trip planner provides only train station to train station trips that do not reach into the more rural areas of the metro area. In order to increase its utility for commuters, Trenord decided to integrate bus lines frequented by their riders. Trenord teamed with Moovit and the Mooviters for help. The collaboration was facilitated by Moovit’s Italian Operations Manager, Giacomo Bonardi, and Country Manager, Samuel Sedpiazza.

    Moovit’s Time to Shine

    Moovit was nearly omnipresent throughout Lombardy, providing information for about 80% of the 426 stations in the region prior to the start of the project. Moovit’s ability to provide such thorough information is a result of the strong community effort to fill the gaps where official data is lacking. In Lombardy, 24 stops are located in Milano and are fully supported in Moovit. However 45 stations are isolated and require, on average, a one-kilometer (0.62 miles) walk. At least one main bus line needed to be mapped to provide last mile connectivity for 81 stations. 12 local Moovit Ambassadors and super Mooviters were invited to participate in a Mapathon.

    Time for Action

    The Mapathon took place last month, with exclusivity and excitement as the undisclosed location is generally not open to the public. After a hearty breakfast, the Mooviters donned new Moovit t-shirts and enjoyed a guided tour by agency officials. The tour included a treat for any rail enthusiast: a demonstration of a professional train simulator.  After lunch the team got down to business and in just a few hours mapped lines that passed through a majority of the missing stations!

    A Job Well Done That’s Not Quite Done

    Giacomo has been coordinating with other agencies in the region on how they will complete their ambitious task. Already many more towns have been inducted into the transportation ecosystem in Lombardy as a result of their collaboration. In addition, many of the participants are in touch to arrange times to meet and test the final product on public transit. This is a true testament to the commitment many Mooviters feel in pursuit of better transportation for their community.