Published On : Tue, Jul 18th, 2023

Last-Mile Connectivity’ hinders Metro ridership in Nagpur, Delhi, and Bengaluru

WRI India and Toyota Mobility Foundation release report on improving metro access systems

Nagpur: A recent survey conducted in Nagpur, Delhi, and Bengaluru has unveiled the crucial role of last-mile connectivity in the success of metro rail systems. The study, published by WRI India in collaboration with the Toyota Mobility Foundation, sheds light on the impact of poor access on metro ridership and provides recommendations to enhance last-mile connectivity for commuters.

According to the survey, a significant factor affecting metro ridership in these cities is the lack of convenient last-mile connectivity options. In Nagpur, over 70% of metro rail commuters prefer walking or cycling to reach a metro station, showcasing the city’s inclination towards sustainable transportation. However, challenges remain in providing efficient last-mile services to meet commuters’ needs.

In Delhi, only 39% of metro rail users rely on walking or cycling for their last-mile commute, indicating a higher dependence on alternative modes of transport, such as autos or shared rides. This emphasizes the pressing need to improve infrastructure and services to enhance the overall metro experience for Delhi’s commuters.

Bengaluru, on the other hand, demonstrates a mixed bag in terms of last-mile connectivity. Approximately 66% of metro rail commuters in the city opt for walking or cycling, indicating a relatively higher preference for sustainable modes of transport. However, there is still room for improvement in ensuring seamless last-mile connectivity for all commuters.

The working paper on ‘Improving Metro Access System,’ jointly published by WRI India and the Toyota Mobility Foundation, highlights key recommendations to address last-mile connectivity challenges. It suggests that transport planners need to align the capacity of last-mile vehicle services with the demand on the last-mile corridor to offer financially viable, high-frequency services.

Furthermore, the study emphasizes the importance of minimizing waiting times for last-mile services, particularly for women commuters who display a strong aversion to waiting beyond 10 minutes. Taking this aspect into consideration while planning end-to-end connectivity can significantly enhance the overall travel experience and attract more passengers.

The report also draws attention to gender disparities in last-mile connectivity. Women, despite traveling shorter distances for the last mile, often end up paying higher fares due to existing fare structures. This raises the need to revisit fare policies to promote equity and accessibility for all commuters.

Efficient last-mile connectivity holds the key to boosting metro ridership and reducing congestion in Nagpur, Delhi, and Bengaluru. By implementing the recommendations put forth in the working paper, metro authorities can bridge the gap between metro stations and commuters’ final destinations, ultimately creating a seamless and efficient metro system.

The findings of this study serve as a call to action for policymakers, transport authorities, and urban planners to prioritize investments in last-mile infrastructure and services. By enhancing accessibility and convenience for metro commuters, these cities can foster sustainable transportation and cater to the evolving needs of their residents.

As metro systems continue to expand across India, addressing last-mile connectivity challenges becomes paramount in creating a truly integrated and commuter-friendly transportation network.