CA: MetroBee Offers a Solution to the Last Mile, by Bringing Transit Right to Commuter’s Front Door

The "Last Mile Problem" is a global concern, with efforts to design a solution being attempted by organizations large and small.

This, when urban sprawl limits the availability of mass transit for people located beyond a convenient 15 minute, one-half mile walking distance to and from a station. MetroBee’s solution is a unique community-based concept that uses GPS directed shared-vehicles to efficiently deliver riders to and from public transit.

During the past year, company founders Ben Edelberg and Kim Zeile met with urban planning and transportation experts and mass transit officials who agree their unique transportation system can effectively solve this ‘Last Mile Problem’. With cities across the country taking notice of the system’s potential, the MetroBee team has identified the East Bay of San Francisco as its tentative launch location. “Oakland and the many unique East Bay communities represent an ideal location for the MetroBee solution.” explained Zeile. “Bay Area residents have a keen understanding as to the importance of mass transit and its role in the future of our cities.”

“To develop this transit solution we simulate the behavior of a colony of bees.” explained Edelberg. Our vehicles work as a swarm to most efficiently service the greater community. The hive is a mass transit hub of any mode, i.e. Rail, Rapid Bus, and Ferries. MetroBee is uniquely designed as an extension of mass transit and part of a larger transit eco-system. Great cities of the future will succeed, only if growth is balanced by a reduction in the amount of cars on our streets.”

With this app-based solution, a system comprised of multiple shared ‘bee’ vehicles collect passengers to service the metro station ‘hive’, displacing traffic congestion at a rate of approximately 40:1. Critical to the success, is keeping a 15 minute guaranteed ride to the station. This time promise is fundamental to commuters choosing a mass transit option over their personal cars. The system is a new model for mobility, not a bus, taxi, or limo service, but a colony of nimble shuttle vehicles that bring riders from their door to and from transit hubs.

Unique from other ride share options growing in popularity nationwide, MetroBee focuses specifically on getting riders to and from mass transit. It offers a fleet of company owned and insured ‘civic utility’ vehicles that work together to solve the larger problem. MetroBee drivers will be full time benefitted employees. The company has begun discussions directly with municipalities and transit providers ensuring safety and best integration with mass transit as an alternative to the personal car for commuting. “The company is first and foremost created as a solution to Gridlock, which can be detrimental to the commercial health of our cities.” added Zeile.

Right Now, the MetroBee team is verifying the Oakland and East Bay neighborhoods and transit hubs with the greatest need for the system. A fleet of Bee vehicles will be hitting the streets very soon.