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This is draft guidance, and we welcome your feedback

Getting to and from public transport is integral to every public transport journey. 

All passengers must make their way to a public transport stop to board public transport, then make their way from where they disembark to their final destination. Often referred to as the ‘first and last mile’, the actual length of these trips can range from less than 100m to many kilometres. 

First and last mile connections are critical to a viable and enjoyable public transport journey experience.

Key issues relating to the quality and ease of access to and from a public transport stop include:

  • The distance between the origin/ destination and the public transport station or stop. This largely determines whether passengers choose to walk or cycle, or use a car, motorbike, or bus to access public transport.
  • The level of comfort and universal access along the connecting route. Even short distances can be perceived as unattractive or inaccessible if they involve long or convoluted road crossings, extensive exposure to inclement weather or lack of appropriate infrastructure.
  • The availability and attractiveness of options including taxi/ rideshare or feeder bus services, as well as facilities for Kiss and Ride or Park and Ride.
  • A person’s level of perceived or actual safety and security accessing public transport. 

It is important that those involved in public transport planning consider the whole of the passengers' journey. When planning for public transport journeys, the following questions should be considered:

  • How will people get to and from their public transport services?
  • Is the whole journey accessible for all people?
  • Is the whole journey safe?
  • Is the whole journey attractive, convenient, relatively seamless, and intuitive?
  • Is the whole journey affordable?

First and last mile as parts of a journey involving public transport


Roles and responsibilities

Planning for a whole-of-journey perspective often involves cross-organisation collaboration.

Understanding people and their journey choices

There are many different types of people that use public transport, with differing levels of understanding of, and familiarity with the public transport network.

Planning for getting to and from the stop

There are a range of matters to consider in planning for getting to and from public transport including: the public transport network, safety, transport access hierarchy, and planning for different travel modes.

Walking

Walking is one of the most practical, affordable, and widely accessible ways people travel for the first and last mile of journeys involving public transport. 

People on bikes and micromobility

The catchment area for public transport stops and stations can be significantly extended by people using bicycles or micromobility devices. 

Feeder public transport services

For some public transport journeys, getting to a main line of public transport may involve taking a ‘feeder’ public transport service or other motorised mode.

Car connections

In some contexts there is a case for providing access for car trips to and from the stop or station.

Quick checklist for getting to and from public transport

A simple checklist can be used to undertake a high-level assessment of first and last mile connections to public transport.