, Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
Public transportation provides a safe, convenient, affordable, and ecoa??friendly mobility service. However,
due to its fixed routes and limited network coverage, it is sometimes difficult or impossible for passengers
to walk from a transit stop to their destination. This inaccessibility problem is also known as the "transit
last mile connectivity problem". Such a lack of connectivity forces travelers to drive and hence increase
the vehicle ownership and Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) on roads. The autonomous mobilitya??ona??demand
(AMoD) service with characteristics such as quick fleet repositioning and demand responsiveness, has the
potential to provide coverage in lowa??density areas where the fixed route transit can only provide limited
coverage. We propose to conduct research on designing an AMoD service to solve the transit last mile
problem in lowa??density regions of the Greater Minnesota. The project will explore two different
alternatives for providing the lasta??mile service, namely, traditional fixeda??route circulator and online
demanda??responsive autonomous service. Furthermore, we propose to survey travelers in a focus area to
estimate the induced (extra) demand for this new service. The work will employ techniques from state-ofa??
thea??art optimization and machine learning to optimize the system. By conducting this study, the project
would pave a way for lowa??density Minnesota regions to adopt future mobility options.