The First & Last Mile problem & the micro-mobility answer

Zipabout has launched a personalised First & Last Mile feature on its platform, integrating e-scooters into the UK’s public transport network for the first time.

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February 16, 2021

What is First & Last Mile?

First & Last Mile is the first and last leg of a journey with the middle bit usually involving a bus or a train.

Even cities with the most advanced transport systems struggle with this problem. Many people don’t live within walking distance of a station or bus stop which means they still rely on their cars for at least part, if not all, of their journey. One socially distanced solution is to encourage people to consider micro-mobility options such as e-scooters and bikes, but this needs to be a seamless part of their journey. This is why Zipabout is so excited about this new feature which launches with European e-scooter company, Voi Technology.

How does it work?

People arriving by train or bus in cities where Voi Technology is being trialled will see e-scooters listed in Zipabout’s personalised messaging outlining the options available for their onward journey. Scooters will be presented alongside other choices such as the bus, a taxi or even a walking route together with the travel time for each. If they opt for a scooter, they’ll be able to sign up and book well ahead of arriving at their final stop. On arrival, they’ll be guided to the nearest Voi e-scooter location and provided with a suggested route.

Passengers can access the service by planning their journey using Zipabout’s real-time personalised information service, which is currently available on Messenger and will soon be on WhatsApp and SMS too.

First & Last Mile will soon be made available to Zipabout’s clients so they can provide personalised first and last-mile support to their passengers and customers.

So why the fuss?

There are lots of benefits to making micro-mobility work.

Not only does this solve an issue that local government, policy makers and transport leaders have been grappling with for years, it also encourages people to try new and sustainable ways to begin and end their journey. It could completely revolutionise commuting in more urban areas and ease congestion as well as parking problems.

For passengers, it gives them the confidence to use public transport knowing they will get an unbiased choice without any disruption to their journey.

Transport operators are also excited about Zipabout because it means a better customer experience that can be rolled out quickly and cost-effectively. They can give their passengers a range of onward transport options in a single hit without the need to deal with different micro-mobility providers.

The micro-mobility providers themselves are thrilled as more people are exposed to e-scooters and realise that they offer a real alternative.

“We are thrilled to announce this integration with Zipabout offering our e-scooters as an option to complement first and last mile train journeys. E-scooters are a convenient, accessible and socially distanced mode of transport, particularly important while the current COVID restrictions are in place. By integrating our carbon-neutral service with public transport we can replace more short car journeys, reducing congestion and improving air quality creating better cities for living.”
Richard Corbett, Regional General Manager UK, Voi Technology

And finally...

It’s sustainable. It provides towns and cities everywhere with a greener option which is something we’re all working towards.