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Transit Passenger Facility Design Guidelines

Introduction

TransLink operates an integrated  regional  network  of transit services that includes automated rail rapid transit, commuter rail, passenger ferry, highway coach, bus, trolley bus, community shuttle and para-transit. Every transit stop, station, exchange and their surrounding environments acts as a gateway to the transit system and represents the public face of TransLink.

TransLink has set a target for 2040 that more than half of all trips in Metro Vancouver will be made by walking, cycling or transit. TransLink has also articulated a Vision, Mission and Values Statement that focuses on building transportation excellence and enhancing livability by providing a sustainable transportation network that is embraced by the communities and the people it serves.\

This document has been prepared to support TransLink in achieving its long-term targets, with the following objectives to:

  • ensure consistent quality and design of transit passenger facilities across transportation modes, facility types, and community contexts;
  • strategically focus future transit passenger facility investment; and
  • reduce the cost for scoping, design and maintenance of new and upgraded facilities.

While this document supports existing TransLink policies, it is also intended to guide the development of new policies and design processes. As the Design Guidelines are implemented and with new understanding of best practices, this document will be regularly reviewed and updated.

Document Purpose

The Guidelines serve as a comprehensive resource for producing consistently excellent transit passenger facilities through a systematized and integrated design process. They are intended to supplement, rather than replace, existing design, engineering and environmental standards and requirements.

Passenger facility design should take account of Metro Vancouver’s varied and complex urban conditions; thus, ensuring they are tailored to meet the needs and opportunities of each particular context. To help achieve this goal, the Guidelines leave ample room for choice, creativity and professional judgement.

Document Scope

The Design Guidelines provide process and design guidance for the design, construction and operation of new or existing TransLink transit passenger facilities, including stops, stations, exchanges and their environments. [See: 2.3.1 Types of Transit Passenger Facilities]

TransLink facilities not intended for use by the travelling public, such as bus operating and maintenance garages or head offices, are not included in the Guidelines.

Transit passenger facilities exist in the context of the surrounding urban environments through which people travel. The planning and design of transit facilities, therefore, requires consideration of issues beyond the transit facility itself – including community integration, land use, urban development and sense of place.

The Guidelines focus on transit passenger facilities and their immediate surroundings (i.e., within one block). Further guidance on design of the neighbourhoods and communities around frequent transit stops, stations and exchanges will be included in the forthcoming Transit-Oriented Community Design Guidelines.

Definition of Terms

Planning and design terminology used throughout this document ranges from high-level vision to prescriptive specifications for implementation. These terms are defined as follows:

Vision: the approach that shapes the overall direction of the Guidelines

Transport 2040 is the primary reference point as the vision for the Design Guidelines.

Vision: transit will be the travel mode of choice in Metro Vancouver

Principles: the overarching concepts that frame application of the Goals and Strategies

Principles: inclusive design must be an automatic design consideration, which means developing places  that are attractive, convenient and easy to use for all people

Goals: the desired outcomes that TransLink seeks to realize with the Guidelines

Goals: put passengers and pedestrians first

Strategies: design objectives that should be met for TransLink to achieve its stated goals

Strategies: make transit passenger facilities universally accessible and inclusive

Guidelines: direction on how designs should be developed to achieve the objectives set by the strategies, without prescribing solutions

This document provides the Design Guidelines for transit passenger facilities.

Guidelines: ensure sufficient spatial capacity is provided to avoid bottlenecks where passenger and pedestrian flows meet

Standards: measurable design requirements, typically based on technical, safety or passenger movement requirements

Relevant standards are referred to, but are not included in these Guidelines.

Standards: the minimum clear width of an accessible route shall be 1830 mm (72 in) for primary, highly-frequented routes and 1525 mm (60 in) for secondary routes (1800 mm preferred at all routes)

Specifications: prescriptive design solutions, technical descriptions or requirements, which can include such elements as dimensions, materials and placement

Specifications are referred to, but are not included within these Guidelines.

Specifications: where concrete is used as the basic floor and walkway finish, it will be steel-trowelled with aggregate sufficiently exposed at the walking surfaces to provide slip resistance of .55 to ASTM C1028- 96 for wet or dry conditions

Policy Context

 

TransLink’s existing and emerging policies support a customer-focused approach to transit design and provision. The 2008 publication of the TransLink Transport 2040 strategic plan set its course for the next 30 years. 
Transport 2040, the long-range transportation plan for the Metro Vancouver region, includes six goals and four strategies. The Transit Passenger Facility Design Guidelines help to realize these goals, particularly by ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for the travelling public (Goal 4) and using attractive and high-functioning facilities. These facilities, in turn, attract more trips by transit (Goal 2) , which reduces greenhouse gas emissions (Goal 1). Well designed facilities that more easily and seamlessly integrate with development can help to increase the number of people living and working close to frequent transit (Goal 3). This type of development serves to optimize the use of existing transportation assets (Strategy 2) and to foster communities that are good for walking, cycling and transit (Strategy 1). 

 

TransLink’s existing and emerging policies support a customer-focused approach to transit design and provision. The 2008 publication of the TransLink Transport 2040 strategic plan set its course for the next 30 years.

Transport 2040, the long-range transportation plan for the Metro Vancouver region, includes six goals and four strategies. The Transit Passenger Facility Design Guidelines help to realize these goals, particularly by ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for the travelling public (Goal 4) and using attractive and high-functioning facilities. These facilities, in turn, attract more trips by transit (Goal 2) , which reduces greenhouse gas emissions (Goal 1). Well designed facilities that more easily and seamlessly integrate with development can help to increase the number of people living and working close to frequent transit (Goal 3). This type of development serves to optimize the use of existing transportation assets (Strategy 2) and to foster communities that are good for walking, cycling and transit (Strategy 1).

Goal 1

Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are aggressively reduced in support of federal, provincial and regional targets.

Goal 2

Most trips are by transit, walking and cycling.

Goal 3

The majority of jobs and housing in the region are located along the Frequent Transit Network.

Goal 4

Traveling in the region is safe, secure and accessible for everyone.

Goal 5

Economic growth and efficient goods movement are facilitated through effective management of the transportation network.

Goal 6

Funding for TransLink is stable, sufficient and appropriate and influences transportation choices.

Strategy 1

Make early investments that encourage development of communities designed for transit, cycling and walking.

Strategy 2

Optimize the use of the region’s transportation assets and keep them in good repair.

Strategy 3

Build and operate a safe, secure and accessible transportation system.

Strategy 4

Diversify revenue sources and pursue new and innovative ways to fund transportation.

Process Goals and Strategies

A series of process goals and strategies were formulated at the outset of the development of the Design Guidelines that provide the means towards the ends. They are intended to ensure that the Design Guidelines are fully understood, supported, and consistently applied by all TransLink departments, operating entities, and project partners.

PROCESS 1: Adopt an integrated planning and design approach

Process strategy 1.1

Involve all relevant planning and design disciplines to establish project goals and objectives.

Process strategy 1.2

Facilitate cross-disciplinary teamwork and processes in the design and delivery of projects.

Process strategy 1.3

Agree upon and clearly communicate roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders.

PROCESS GOAL 2: Systemize use of and adherence to the design guidelines

Process strategy 2.1

Integrate the guidelines within the design process from project brief through project completion to operation and management.

Process strategy 2.2

Encourage provincial and municipal partners to use the design guidelines within their  own planning and design processes.

Process strategy 2.3

Establish a clear and consistent design review process.

Process strategy 2.4

Widely engage with stakeholders to promote, communicate and build support for the design guidelines.