Using Public Transportation to Facilitate Last Mile Package Delivery

Rural transit districts and intercity bus carriers are an important link within Texas’ multimodal transportation system. Without such service providers, many rural residents that are transit dependent would be forced to either relocate or find other means of transportation. However, provision of transit service (especially in rural areas, because of large distances and limited ridership) is a costly endeavor. Alternative revenue streams offer rural transit operators the opportunity to operate more sustainably and potentially leverage additional State and Federal level funding sources by providing funding for local match. Continued growth of business to consumer e-commerce has increased demand for package shipping services. Rural areas face a particular challenge in finding efficient “last mile” delivery of goods (from freight drop to final destination). Rural transit districts operate demand response door-to-door service throughout Texas, providing critical connections to goods and services. The network of Texas rural transit districts may effectively bridge the last mile gap in package shipping from the freight drop point to the final destination by providing last mile package delivery services in cooperation with freight companies. Last mile package delivery service may present an opportunity for rural transit operators to diversify revenue sources and improve overall cost effectiveness while maintaining existing door-to-door service. Research is needed to address current gaps in existing package delivery service that may be filled by the network of intercity bus and rural transit districts in Texas. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), as well as transit and freight stakeholders (such as, regional package delivery companies, United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx Corporation, and United States Postal Service), will benefit from knowledge of best practices, challenges, policy implications, and the potential for revenue generation. Furthermore, rural transit operators will benefit from the guidebook developed by this effort. The guidebook will be designed to inform rural transit operators of how to implement a package delivery service and will be tested by the research team (to ensure viability) during the implementation of a pilot package delivery service in partnership with a rural transit operator.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Badgley, Sonya

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Edrington, Suzie

  • Start Date: 20150901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20170831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01619651
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-6891
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 21 2016 2:31PM