Public transport feeder networks are the various private or public means used for reaching the nearest public transport stop. Examples include non-conventional means of public transport (e.g. taxi-buses or demand-responsive bus lines), car pooling, cycling and walking. The “first mile” is an important challenge when designing any kind of transport network, and this is especially so in sparsely populated rural areas. Due to low passenger volumes and the large geographical areas to be covered, it is very difficult to offer an attractive and cost-efficient public transport alternative to the private car. Over the last decade, the problem has been exacerbated by demographic changes such as urban migration and ageing, high levels of private car use, and cost cuts in public services.
Public transport feeder networks are an attempt to tackle this challenge. The idea is to provide regular public transport services along dedicated backbone routes, and to organise small-scale, demand-driven mobility services to bring passengers to the nearest bus or railway stop. In many European rural areas such services already exist – and SmartMove will promote these services by active mobility consultancy campaigns. Besides attracting new passengers to already existing feeder schemes, these campaigns collect feedback from existing passengers in order to improve the service.
To learn more about public transport feeder networks in rural areas, please select from the right-hand menu.