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Last Mile Travel

There's been some confusion about the term "last mile travel" and what it means. Mass transit transports large numbers of people at once -- that's why we call it "mass" transit. Those people don't all live in the same place, and they're not all going to the same place. Mass transit, by its very nature, relies on transportation hubs like bus stops and train stations. The "last mile" is the portion of a trip between the starting or ending point and the transit hub. It's the portion of the trip that mass transit, by its definition, cannot cater to.

Last mile solutions, like e-scooter sharing, bike sharing, individually-owned bikes, and walking, do not compete with mass transit, because the last mile isn't part of the mass transit network. Companies that focus on these things do not represent privitization of mass transit, because the last mile isn't part of mass transit. Last mile solutions complement mass transit, which is why cities with mass transit systems award contracts to companies that offer last mile solutions. The goal is to make their mass transit systems work better, not to replace them. Nobody's going to take an e-scooter from El Cerrito to San Francisco, but plenty of people will take an e-scooter from their home to a bus stop in El Cerrito, and then take the bus to San Francisco.

This is a fundamental concept in transportation policy. Candidates who don't understand it should not be elected to positions where they can influence transportation policy. Candidates who do understand it, but pretend that they don't in order to hurt their political opponents, should not be elected to anything at all.

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