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Anna Forst

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Tha Last Mile Issue in transport is of increased relevance within large cities.

We are currently working on a university research project in the field of innovation, focusing on how to solve the last-mile issue when it comes to transit. We raise the question: How to best bridge the distance between the public transport station and your office or another point of interest? There are some solutions (e.g. Segways), but apparently do not solve all the needs. We are really looking for new approaches and ideas.

Have you considered the last mile issue? Is it relevant to you? Does this problem need more individual, flexible approaches like segways, or can changes in city infrastructure could also solve this need?

We really hope some of you share your ideas!

Thanks´for your contribution!

Anna
(in the name of the project team)

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    Nov 9 2011: Can you summarize the last mile issue for those not familiar with it? What are some approaches being proposed now, e.g. segways? In the meantime, I'll google it too. :)
  • Nov 13 2011: @Anne: Thank you for your answer! Have you ever thought of an idea on how to make it more convenient to carry them around?

    Addtionally, we would also like to listen to any other ideas or concepts that you might
    have related to that field or could you recommend me somebody else who is actively working on innovations on bridging short distances?
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    Nov 12 2011: Depends on the weather! If it's usually dry but not too hot then you can allocate traffic-free routes to a range of transport forms. Rollerblades and folding scooters are less theft prone than bikes in that they can be stored under an office desk, but it can be a hassle to carry them round while shopping, and they are not practical in wet weather.

    Canopied walkways might encourage more people to walk when the weather is not good, but ideally walking routes should be free of traffic fumes. One problem with separating walking routes and traffic is safety - it has been found that when walking routes are isolated there is increased concern about attacks, sometimes with justification.
  • Nov 9 2011: @Stephen: Thanks for your comment. We also thought of bycle sharing systems - it´s a good starting point. But have you ever thought of alternative and more innovative solutions, that are not on the market so far?
  • Nov 9 2011: Bicycles have and are being attempted. It did not work for two reasons.....one being theft and the other maintenance. To solve the second problem (flat tires) hard tires take care of that and who cares for a short ride if it's not quite as comfortable. The other issue can be addressed by embedding a tracking device,a huge fine and a &100 fine for turning in a thief (added to the fine). Note: Embed it where it will destroy the bicycle or lock it up so there is no incentive for theft. Something similar to the pay carts at airports except keep the cost at 25 cents (a quick payback). This does addresses the last mile plus exercise and gets the populace use to not driving two blocks to pick up a carton of milk. Below are all my current design thoughts....hopefully others will add to the list. For additional information (as well as justification for what I have proposed) this link provides a lot of information.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_sharing_system

    -hard tires to prevent theft with all other parts effectively being a un-body construction to the extent possible.
    -special tools required to remove parts
    -an embedded tracking device
    -rear baskets (semi-lockable) for carrying groceries, whatever...not removable
    -A very bright color....TAXI yellow......also make the stands yellow.
    -Determine whether or not to simply leave them on the curb for others or have pick up points or it's mandatory to return them to the original location (the latter probably)
    -a design that facilitates pulling the typical luggage bag on wheels or grocery cart used to go to the store
    -all bicycles female designed meaning no bar you have to throw a leg over
    -larger and comfortable seats (as opposed to those shown in the link above)
    -no gear system
    -Tracking initiated after 2 hrs.
    Expensive solutions will not work. Use the KISS philosophy.

    If anyone cares to work on a design happy to contribute. Tangoblue@netscape.net
    Revenue could be from advertising plus the 25 Cents.
  • Nov 9 2011: Dear Linda,
    thank you for your answer! :-)
    What we are especially looking for are people who are interested in creative and new ideas aiming at solving the last mile issue. What we understand by the last mile issue is that people often decide to drive by car as it offers them the flexibility to directly go from A to B, without facing the need to go the last part of their transit by foot. This is especially inconvenient in large cities, or when the weather is really bad, or even when you want to go to the supermarket after work. So, in fact, we look for alternatives to cars or the necessity to walk to bridge these short distances. What we are looking for are innovations or technological solutions, like segways, that allow you to better cover short distances. Other examples than segways are motorized shoes, for instance.