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TransitCenter analyst Zak Accuardi speaks to the difficulties of getting riders to widely-dispersed transit stops. "Transit's first and last miles generally happen outside of transit agencies' traditional sphere of concern — operating buses or trains — and thus demand sustained coordination with other governmental actors, especially at the municipal level."
Accuardi maintains that mobility services like rideshare can alleviate the problem, but only so much. He suggests that planners prioritize pedestrian access. "Improving street network connections that make walking to transit easier is among the most useful and cost-effective first and last mile strategies."
"Removing barriers to walking and TOD are likely to yield better ridership and financial return on investment than others designed to draw transit riders from suburban environments—the transportation equivalent of swimming upstream." But in cities designed around the suburban model, that's easier said than done.