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Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations

Transit Cooperative Research Program Report 153, "Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations," has been added to the Research Center best practices database. The report offers guidelines for providing access to rapid transit stations, describes a station access planning process, and provides a high-level station access planning tool.

"The guidelines, process, and planning tool are based on a detailed review of available literature and transit agency practices, as well as case studies conducted during the course of the research," the authors note. "The materials are intended to aid the many groups involved in planning, developing and improving station access."

Key Issues

  • What is the best way or “process” for station planning and development?
  • Which groups should be included in this planning process?
  • What travel modes should be accommodated?
  • How do development densities and land use patterns affect the use of various access modes?
  • How can station ridership and access modes use be estimated?
  • What are the likely effects of parking on station ridership?
  • How can the sometimes-differing concerns of transit agencies and communities be addressed?
  • How do access issues vary between mature and new stations?
  • How should pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and auto access be integrated into the site plan for the station and its environs?
  • What guidelines underlie the provisions of park-and-ride? When are garages preferable to surface parking?
  • What provisions should be made for TOD and integrating station access with the surrounding neighborhoods?
  • Under what circumstances are feeder bus services likely to provide a cost-effective means of providing station access?
  • What are ways to maximize access at constrained stations?

General Guidelines

  • Providing access to rapid transit stations should be a cooperative effort by the transit, street transportation, and planning agencies, as well as the surrounding community. The transit agency should be proactive in this effort.
  • Station access plans should result from comprehensive and cooperative planning processes that identify needs and opportunities and lead to effective and accepted results.
  • Station access generally should be multi-modal.
  • The predominant access travel modes depend upon type of land use, street spacing, and development density, among other factors. Walking dominates station access in the city center and in contiguous high-density residential areas. Both walking and bus access are the main means of reaching stations within the central city. Suburban stations are typically serviced by autos, buses, and pedestrians.

Download report and CD contents