The Last Mile was a cargo-carrying folding scooter, designed to help commuters take public transportation. It was a finalist in the 2007 California Cleantech Open entrepreneurship competition.
The #1 reason commuters drive instead of using transit is inconvenience. Public transportation is inconvenient for people who live or work more than 5 or 10 minutes from a station. A 40-mile drive can be caused by a one-mile gap between you and the train station. This vehicle bridges that “last mile”. Commuters also usually need to carry things to work (briefcase, laptop, etc.) or run errands after work which involve carrying things (groceries, shopping, etc.)
Existing solutions have the following problems:
• Bicycles are often not allowed on trains and buses, especially during commuting hours.
• Bicycles require special racks that are often full.
• Folding bicycles are usually slow/awkward to fold, and have no place to carry stuff. What’s more, once it is folded it is another thing to carry.
• Folding scooters are dangerous due to unstable steering geometry and small wheels.
• Folding scooters, like folding bicycles, have no place to carry stuff and become another thing to carry when folded.The SolutionThe Last Mile solves these problems with the following features:
• Steady but responsive steering geometry
– four-wheel stability
– 8″ front wheels
• Acts like rolling luggage when folded
– consolidates multiple bags or items
– can carry as much as a small hand truck
– several possible ways of holding your stuff
• Fits between bus seats when folded, even while loaded
• Goes right to your desk at work, no need to park outside and risk theft
• Can be electric or foot-powered: choose whether or not to exercise
The Last Mile can also be used without transit as a normal scooter, effectively a “granny cart” you can ride.
If 1% of single-occupancy vehicle trips were eliminated, it would be equal to all of the greater Los Angeles area giving up their cars. A San Francisco-to-Palo Alto commuter would eliminate over 12,000 pounds of CO2eq emissions per year by using the Last Mile and the train instead of driving. If the target market of 5 – 10 million people all switched to The Last Mile, it would eliminate 60 – 120 billion pounds of CO2eq. It will also benefit cities: public transit use has been shown to build local economies and communities.