Transit-Supportive Guidelines

Section 2.3 Enhancing Access to Transit

2.3.1 Location and Design of Transit Stops

Design and locate transit stops to enhance accessibility and user comfort while balancing the requirements of an efficient transit service.

The location and design of bus and streetcar stops is an important factor in determining how far pedestrians must walk to reach transit services and the quality of the wait once they get there. A transit stop is the most consistently visible image of a town or city’s transit system. When stops are poorly designed and maintained, difficult to reach or uncomfortable for users, it can negatively affect the image of a transit system and reduce opportunities for capturing choice ridership.

Since transit cannot usually provide universal door-to-door access, ensuring that stops are easily accessible to a large percentage of the public is important to enhancing ridership. A designated waiting area, designed for comfort in all seasons and for people of all ages and abilities, is important to enhance user satisfaction and reduce the perceived waiting time.

Within a system there may be several different types of stops related to the existing and planned level of passenger activity or the location of the stop within the system. There could include minor stops which exist along the length of a transit route, major stops at the junction of two connecting routes and interchange stops at major transfer points within the system. The amenities provided at transit stops, such as benches and bike racks, should reflect these differences with higher levels of amenity at higher volume locations or significant points of interchange within the system. Transit stops also need to be designed for universal access. Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) will require municipalities and transit agencies to meet standards for transit stop accessibility under the Built Environment Standard. Guideline 3.4.1 provides resources and links to Ontario’s accessibility policies and legislation.

This transit stop in York Region is composed of high quality materials that provide clear sightlines to surrounding areas. The shelter provides real-time trip planning information and incorporates a ticket vending machine for pre-paid boarding. Users are supported through amenities such as seating, waste receptacles and bike racks.

This transit stop in York Region is composed of high quality materials that provide clear sightlines to surrounding areas. The shelter provides real-time trip planning information and incorporates a ticket vending machine for pre-paid boarding. Users are supported through amenities such as seating, waste receptacles and bike racks.

Strategies Legend
Applicable Community Scale
Small Community icon Small
Mid-size Community icon Mid-size
Large Community icon Large
Big City icon Big City
Planning Scale
Site Planning icon Site
District Planning icon District
Municipal Planning icon Municipal
Regional Planning icon Regional
Green Action icon Green Action

Strategies:

location

  1. Transit users are generally willing to walk 400 m to a local stop or 800 m to a rapid transit station. The placement of local stops at between 200 and 250 m apart supports an average 400 m walking distance to local stops within an interconnected network of streets and blocks. For express or rapid transit services supported by a network of feeder transit, spacing stops greater than 250 m apart is often appropriate to limit stops, reduce travel times and maintain route efficiency.Regional Planning iconMunicipal Planning iconDistrict Planning icon
  2. To maximize pedestrian access and minimize walking distances, locate transit stops at points where local roads intersect with collectors and arterials.Regional Planning iconMunicipal Planning iconDistrict Planning icon
  3. Locate transit stops in highly visible locations along well-travelled routes and support their function through the design of adjacent development (Section 2.4).Municipal Planning iconDistrict Planning icon
  4. Locate transit stops next to uses that generate high transit use such as seniors residences, hospitals, social services, large employers, retail uses and entertainment venues (Strategy 1.1.7.5).District Planning icon
  5. Locate stops on the near or far side of intersections as appropriate to the circumstances:
    • Locate stops on the near side of the intersection to accommodate pedestrians near a cross walk and provide the driver more control of the bus as he/she makes the stop and then proceeds through the intersection.District Planning icon
    • Locate stops on the far side of the intersection to reduce interference where there is a high volume of turning vehicles and bus service is frequent. Far side stops allow the bus to proceed through a green signal, and make it easier for buses to re-enter traffic.District Planning icon

The diagrams above illustrate two potential transit stop configurations demonstrating a range of strategies in this guideline. The stop in the top diagram creates a waiting area away from the street. Stops should be located adjacent to a street only where there is low traffic volume.

The diagrams above illustrate two potential transit stop configurations demonstrating a range of strategies in this guideline. The stop in the top diagram creates a waiting area away from the street. Stops should be located adjacent to a street only where there is low traffic volume.

Transit stops that are easily accessible and located near intersections and trip-generating uses can boost ridership.

Transit stops that are easily accessible and located near intersections and trip-generating uses can boost ridership.

waiting area design

  1. Design transit waiting areas so they:
    • connect to the sidewalk and provide direct access to all transit vehicle doors;
    • are well lit and highly visible from the street with clear sightlines to both approaching and parked transit vehicles and surrounding uses;
    • are constructed of high quality weatherproof materials that resist slipping and drain well;
    • avoid changes in grade and obstructions that can hinder people with mobility issues, carts or baby carriages; and
    • alert the visually impaired of their presence and, if appropriate, the location of various elements through the use of tactile strips or paving.Site Planning icon
  2. Establish a regular maintenance schedule that includes snow clearance during winter months.Municipal Planning icon
  3. Transit stops adjacent to ditches or swales should incorporate direct, level connections leading from the sidewalk to the edge of the curb.Site Planning iconSmall Community icon

A shelter within a transit station in Saint Paul MN, incorporates user-activated radiant heating in order to enhance passenger comfort during colder winter months.

A shelter within a transit station in Saint Paul MN, incorporates user-activated radiant heating in order to enhance passenger comfort during colder winter months.

A heated bus shelter in Brampton provides real-time arrival information and provides waiting passengers with the choice of both internal and external waiting areas.

A heated bus shelter in Brampton provides real-time arrival information and provides waiting passengers with the choice of both internal and external waiting areas.

user amenities

  1. The provision of cycling facilities at transit stops is desirable as it enables passengers to bike to the stop. Where there is the increased potential for cyclists, such as along cycling routes or where distances between stops and local destinations are long, cyclists should be accommodated with bike racks and where appropriate, sheltered racks and/or bike lockers.Regional Planning iconMunicipal Planning iconDistrict Planning icon
  2. Incorporate landscape treatments that preserve views but improve the environment for waiting passengers by providing shade from the sun and shelter from the wind. This can enhance the user experience, environmental performance and the image of the system.Site Planning iconGreen Action icon
  3. Provide a higher level of passenger amenity such as the provision of a transit shelter, pre-payment facilities and real-time trip planning information at bus stops where two routes intersect or in areas with a high number of boardings. Ridership counts can be determined through a range of methods as outlined in Section 3.2 of this document.Municipal Planning iconDistrict Planning iconSite Planning icon
  4. Official plans can contain policies encouraging the integration of transit shelters/waiting areas into the design of buildings adjacent to the street. These can be achieved through density bonusing or site plan agreements and can take the form of:
    • overhangs that provide shelter for waiting passengers;
    • highly visible internal waiting areas that provide shelter and warmth during winter months; and
    • front lobbies and ground floor circulation areas located adjacent to stops.Municipal Planning iconSite Planning icon
  5. Design transit shelters to be comfortable and highly visible with transparent sides, seating with armrests to support passengers with mobility issues and lighting.Site Planning icon
  6. Provide all transit stops with garbage and recycling receptacles for waiting users.Site Planning iconGreen Action icon
  7. Design shelters to accommodate a range of users including people with carriages or wheelchairs (Guideline 3.4.1).Site Planning icon
  8. Where service is infrequent, transit stops should include a range of amenities including shelters, benches and waste receptacles.Site Planning iconSmall Community icon
  9. Incorporate passenger-activated radiant heating at remote stations or when headways between vehicles are long. This can help to improve user comfort during colder winter months.Site Planning icon

Incorporating transit shelters or waiting areas into adjacent buildings such as this example in Toronto will help to enhance connections between transit stops and adjacent uses and can provide additional comfort for passengers during hot summer or cold winter months.

Incorporating transit shelters or waiting areas into adjacent buildings such as this example in Toronto will help to enhance connections between transit stops and adjacent uses and can provide additional comfort for passengers during hot summer or cold winter months.

Recommended Resources

Guidelines for the Location and Design of Bus Stops (Transit Cooperative Research Program)

Design Guidelines for Accessible Bus Stops (BC Transit)

Transit Design Standards and Guidelines (Grand Junction/Mesa County Metropolitan Planning Organization)

Bus stop location policy (Christchurch City Council, NZ)

The Canadian Transit Handbook, 3rd ed., Chapter 8: Customer Access (Canadian Urban Transit Association)

public art

  1. Incorporate public art at transit stops to enhance the user experience and foster a positive image of the system. Artwork can be used to reflect local characteristics or commemorate the unique history of an area.
  2. Employ high-quality materials in transit stop artwork so that it can stand the test of time, be easily maintained and contribute to a positive image of transit facilities.Site Planning icon

2.3.2 Location and Design of Transit Stations

Design transit stations to enhance connectivity between different modes of transportation while supporting a positive user experience. As convergence points of community mobility and activity, they should be designed to contribute to a positive neighbourhood identity and to integrate within their surroundings.

Transit stations are important centres of activity that can help to strengthen the relationship between the surrounding community and transit network. They are gateways providing supportive amenities and information for travellers and in many cases act as a connecting point between multiple modes of transportation. Stations are the traditional hubs of many of our towns and cities and their presence has historically had a significant influence on the way our communities have grown and developed. Ensuring that new and existing stations are designed to integrate with their surroundings is an important strategy towards enhancing station access for a wide range of users and contributing to a pedestrian-friendly environment that will support transit ridership.

As places of transfer between different modes of transportation, it is important that stations be organized to enable the efficient movement of passengers from one mode to another while providing an environment that is enjoyable and comfortable for users.

A rational progression of facilities with clear and direct routes that take passengers from their arrival point to their mode of transit with few decision-making points will help people to find their way around the station quickly and easily.

A rational progression of facilities with clear and direct routes that take passengers from their arrival point to their mode of transit with few decision-making points will help people to find their way around the station quickly and easily.

Strategies:

location & access

  1. As important community and transportation hubs new stations should be located where they can enhance access to the transit network, create more efficient intermodal connections and act as catalysts for new transit-supportive development. Municipal Planning iconDistrict Planning icon
  2. Design stations to integrate into their surroundings by providing connections for a range of users including pedestrians (Guideline 2.3.3), cyclists (Guideline 2.3.4) and other transit vehicles (Guideline 2.3.5).District Planning iconSite Planning icon
  3. Transit agencies should work with local land owners to secure pedestrian and cycling connections to and through adjacent developments for users going to and from the station.District Planning iconSite Planning icon

This bus station in Burnley, UK provides a range of amenities to support waiting passengers including a convenient café, seating areas located where passengers can see their arriving vehicles, real-time information and wayfinding signage.

This bus station in Burnley, UK provides a range of amenities to support waiting passengers including a convenient café, seating areas located where passengers can see their arriving vehicles, real-time information and wayfinding signage.

Detroit’s Rosa Parks Transit Center not only integrates several modes of transit, it creates a local landmark that helps to raise the profile of the city’s transit service.

Detroit’s Rosa Parks Transit Center not only integrates several modes of transit, it creates a local landmark that helps to raise the profile of the city’s transit service.

design treatments

  1. Design larger station sites to support long-term intensification by establishing development parcels and preserving land for the creation of new streets and open spaces that strengthen connections to surrounding areas.Site Planning icon
  2. Encourage transit station design excellence. High-quality design can create a landmark for the local community and raise the profile of transit services.Site Planning icon
  3. Extend transit station design beyond the platform and waiting areas to encompass the wider public realm of the station area and its surroundings.District Planning iconSite Planning icon

legibility

  1. Design stations to be easily navigable, or “legible” to users with clearly defined areas related to station functions. Provide clear, direct routes between station facilities and the various converging transportation modes.Site Planning icon
  2. Develop a level of design consistency at larger stations to increase user familiarity with station facilities and enhance station legibility. Wayfinding strategies for transit facilities are highlighted in Guideline 3.3.3 of this document.Site Planning iconLarge Community iconBig City icon

amenity

  1. While the level of passenger amenity will vary at each station, stations should support user enjoyment through the creation of comfortable spaces and the provision of user amenities and ancillary uses such as drinking fountains or convenience retail services (Guideline 3.4.2).Site Planning icon

surface parking

  1. Discourage or limit provision of free surface parking in station areas where frequent feeder transit service is available, in order to support local transit ridership and make more land available near the station for higher-density development and a mix of transit-supportive uses (Guideline 2.5.2). The creation or expansion of parking areas must measure the benefits of new ridership against the associated costs including construction and maintenance, neighbourhood impacts and impacts on more local transit services. Where possible, opportunities to increase access to station areas through transfers or more active forms of transportation should be prioritized.Site Planning iconLarge Community iconBig City icon

The creation of a primary central access route can consolidate entrance points and create a clear structure for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure leading to and from the station.

The creation of a primary central access route can consolidate entrance points and create a clear structure for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure leading to and from the station.

Organizing large areas of surface parking into smaller modules can facilitate access for all users while establishing future development parcels for intensification over time. In this diagram, taxi and drop off and pick up areas have been located to feed directly onto the station plaza while accessible parking and parking for smaller vehicles and/or shared vehicles has been given priority immediately adjacent to the station.

Organizing large areas of surface parking into smaller modules can facilitate access for all users while establishing future development parcels for intensification over time. In this diagram, taxi and drop off and pick up areas have been located to feed directly onto the station plaza while accessible parking and parking for smaller vehicles and/or shared vehicles has been given priority immediately adjacent to the station.

 

  1. Where densities are low and the ability to provide feeder bus service is limited, provision of parking can encourage longer distance and inter-regional transit ridership. Once parking is in place, patterns of use should be monitored (Guideline 3.2.2) to determine rider catchment areas and identify opportunities for new feeder service or pedestrian and/or cycling infrastructure as demand increases over time.Site Planning icon
  2. Where parking is provided, allocate priority spots and establish free or preferential pricing for carpool vehicles, scooters and motorcycles which use less space per person (Guideline 2.5.2).Site Planning icon
  3. Structure surface parking lots to create a clear pattern of circulation that can minimize pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular conflicts, supports safe pedestrian access from parking areas and enable the intensification of station areas over time. Strategies include:
    • creating a primary central access route between the public rights-of-way and the station entrance that can act as the principle vehicular point of access and accommodate pedestrian and cycling infrastructure such as sidewalks and bike lanes leading to and from the station.
    • organizing large areas of surface parking into smaller parking areas of 300 cars or less separated by a landscaped buffer and pedestrian pathways. This can help to break up large expanses of parking and facilitate pedestrian travel from parking areas to the station.
    • aligning parking aisles in the direction of the station to reduce the need for pedestrians to cross parking aisles or between rows of parked cars.Site Planning icon
  4. Explore opportunities for reduced parking size dimensions and parking aisle requirements that can help to minimize land requirements.District Planning iconSite Planning icon

A rendering of potential station improvements around a commuter rail station illustrates how the creation of a central access point with pedestrian and cycling amenities can help to create safer pedestrian and cycling access, across the parking lot to the station.

A rendering of potential station improvements around a commuter rail station illustrates how the creation of a central access point with pedestrian and cycling amenities can help to create safer pedestrian and cycling access, across the parking lot to the station.

Pedestrians in commuter parking lots tend to walk directly to and from the station, and may not use pedestrian pathways and sidewalks provided when there is a more direct route from their vehicle. Aligning parking aisles in the direction of the station reduces the need for pedestrians to cross parking aisles or pass between parked vehicles.

Pedestrians in commuter parking lots tend to walk directly to and from the station, and may not use pedestrian pathways and sidewalks provided when there is a more direct route from their vehicle. Aligning parking aisles in the direction of the station reduces the need for pedestrians to cross parking aisles or pass between parked vehicles.

Recommended Resources

Mobility Hub Guidelines (Metrolinx)

Bus Rapid Transit: Volume 2 – Implementation Guidelines (Transit Cooperative Research Program)

Warwick Intermodal Station (State of Rhode Island Department of Transportation)

parking structures

  1. Situate parking structures where they will not impede the long-term redevelopment and intensification potential of the station area (Guideline 2.4.3).District Planning iconSite Planning icon

drop off & pickup

  1. Provide dedicated taxi areas and passenger drop/off and pick up areas adjacent to the station building or associated station open space (Strategy 2.3.3.6). Taxi stands should be accessible (Strategy 2.5.2.8), clearly delineated from other drop-off/pick-up areas and designed for one way traffic flow with room for waiting cars to queue.Site Planning icon
  2. Passenger drop-off and pick up areas should be designed to support frequent vehicle turnover and minimize conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles. Include anti-idling provisions. Safety can be enhanced through the provision of a curbed sidewalk adjacent to the passenger door. Where dedicated curb side drop off is not feasible, these areas should be designed as “shared” pedestrian/vehicular spaces through the use of special paving or markings designed to enhance driver awareness.Site Planning icon

2.3.3 Enhancing Access for Pedestrians in Station Areas

Transit stations and station areas should be designed to prioritize pedestrian access while accommodating the needs of other users such as cyclists, transit and motor vehicles.

The movement of people in and around stations or transferring between different transportation modes requires an emphasis on design of the pedestrian realm. Transit stations and station areas should have adequate capacity to accommodate peak pedestrian volumes safely and comfortably. While efforts may be made to support pedestrian movement on the way to the station, if provisions are not made for pedestrians within the unique environment of a station it can affect user satisfaction and deter ridership.

Ensuring that people can move safely, efficiently, and comfortably within or around a station is therefore an important strategy to enhancing user experience and promoting greater ease of use.

The pedestrian plaza at the Stratford Station in London, UK creates a receiving point for pedestrians and helps to facilitate transfers between modes.

The pedestrian plaza at the Stratford Station in London, UK creates a receiving point for pedestrians and helps to facilitate transfers between modes.

Strategies:

pedestrian connections

  1. Treat the sidewalks in and immediately adjacent to a station as pedestrian priority areas. They should contain a higher level of pedestrian amenity than surrounding areas, including:
    • signage and wayfinding to inform users where they need to go to reach the station and area destinations;
    • pedestrian-oriented lighting for enhanced visibility and safety;
    • seating and waste receptacles for convenience; and
    • landscaping for pedestrian comfort and enjoyment.District Planning iconSite Planning icon
  2. Organize sidewalks and pathways within station areas so they provide continuous, direct connections to area destinations and pathways outside the station area. A regular maintenance schedule, including snow removal, should ensure that sidewalks are clear of obstructions or significant debris year-round.Site Planning icon
  3. Provide a broad pedestrian through zone with a suggested width of 2.4m or more, for sidewalks in station areas with wider sidewalks, with a suggested width of 3m or greater, at stations with high levels of pedestrian activity.Site Planning icon
  4. Minimize conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists by locating bicycle storage facilities close to the road, so that cyclists will not be encouraged to ride across pedestrian areas.Site Planning icon

The waiting areas at this station in Blackwood, Wales have been positioned to preserve a generous area for pedestrian circulation.

The waiting areas at this station in Blackwood, Wales have been positioned to preserve a generous area for pedestrian circulation.

Wayfinding maps located in strategic locations can help to enhance station legibility for users.

Wayfinding maps located in strategic locations can help to enhance station legibility for users.

Recommended Resources

BART Station Access Guidelines (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

Station Site and Access Planning Manual (Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority)

station buildings

  1. Situate station buildings as close as possible to surrounding developments and areas of pedestrian activity to minimize walking distances. A pedestrian flow analysis can ensure that adequate room at station entrances is provided.Site Planning icon

open space

  1. Pedestrian plazas or open spaces can act as important organizing elements within a station area. They help facilitate transfers between modes, act as receiving points for pedestrians and contain a range of amenities for users.Site Planning icon

wayfinding

  1. Locate wayfinding maps at all major entrances indicating where the user is within the station area and the location of major station destinations. Supplement these signs with a wider context map directing pedestrians to important local destinations. Wayfinding strategies for station facilities can be found in Guideline 3.3.3 of this document.Site Planning icon

waiting areas

  1. To avoid pedestrian conflict and promote station legibility, ensure pedestrian waiting areas are clearly identifiable and delineated from areas of pedestrian circulation.Site Planning icon
  2. User comfort in outdoor pedestrian waiting areas can be enhanced through the use of year-round plantings that provide shelter from the wind in winter months and shade during hot summer months.Site Planning iconGreen Action icon
  3. Design outdoor waiting areas to increase passenger safety and comfort with clear sightlines to the station building and surrounding areas, and ensure areas are well-lit, clean and cleared of snow in winter.Site Planning icon

2.3.4 Enhancing Access for Cyclists in Station Areas

Station design should promote the use of cycling as a component of a wider transportation system by providing accommodations for cyclists entering the station area, safe and convenient bike storage and amenities to support riders on their journey.

Accommodating cyclists at transit stations through provision of bike storage and other facilities is an important component of a multi-modal transit strategy. Cyclists’ ability to travel distances that might be too long to walk but are too short to be convenient for transit makes cycling an important mode of transportation: one that is able to connect transit users comfortably to a whole range of destinations within a 3 to 5 km radius of a station area.

If cyclists are unable to conveniently access station areas or find safe and secure parking for their bicycles they will be discouraged from riding to the station. Just as pedestrians require a certain level of amenity, cyclists require infrastructure and facilities to enable them to safely move within a station area, minimize conflict with other vehicles and pedestrians and support them at both the beginning and end of a trip.

Sheltered bike facilities located in highly visible locations, such as this example in Oakville, help discourage vandalism and theft. The use of closed rings provides two points of contact for parked bicycles. This provides greater stability and makes it easier to lock the bike.

Sheltered bike facilities located in highly visible locations, such as this example in Oakville, help discourage vandalism and theft. The use of closed rings provides two points of contact for parked bicycles. This provides greater stability and makes it easier to lock the bike.

Strategies:

access

  1. Keep cycling routes and pedestrian pathways within the station area separate to minimize conflicts. Where cycling routes to and from bike parking are adjacent to pedestrian areas or transit zones, such as a bus loop, they should be clearly marked through the use of distinct paving treatments and signage.District Planning iconSite Planning icon
  2. Cycling access points and routes should be clearly identified and located to minimize conflicts with transit and private vehicle users. Where cyclists share access points with private vehicles, they should be provided dedicated or painted curb-side lanes to minimize conflicts.Site Planning icon
  3. Avoid barriers to cyclists such as curbs or stairs, where possible. Where they exist, stairways leading to and from station areas should be outfitted with bike ramps or elevators.Site Planning icon

Where stairs exist, the use of bike ramps, such as this one at Millennium Park Bicycle Station in Chicago, can help to facilitate access for cyclists.

Where stairs exist, the use of bike ramps, such as this one at Millennium Park Bicycle Station in Chicago, can help to facilitate access for cyclists.

Bike rental facilities and repair shops integrated into larger transit centres, such as this one in Millennium Park, Chicago, help to encourage passengers commuting to transit stations to cycle and can help departing passengers reach local destinations.

Bike rental facilities and repair shops integrated into larger transit centres, such as this one in Millennium Park, Chicago, help to encourage passengers commuting to transit stations to cycle and can help departing passengers reach local destinations.

Recommended Resources

Case Study: Cycling Facilities

BART Bicycle Access and Parking Plan (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

Ontario Bikeways Planning and Design Guidelines (Ontario Ministry of Transportation)

Station Site and Access Planning Manual (Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority)

Integrating Bicycling and Public Transport in North America (Pucher, J. and Buehler, R)

wayfinding

  1. Locate clear wayfinding signage around the perimeter of station areas and at the terminus of primary cycling routes, directing cyclists to the appropriate station access points and cycling facilities.District Planning iconSite Planning icon

parking

  1. Cyclists should be provided with sheltered and secure bicycle storage facilities at all transit stations and bike racks at stop locations.Site Planning icon
  2. Locate bicycle parking in highly visible, well-lit or security-monitored areas to discourage vandalism, and in places that minimize conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and transit vehicles.Site Planning iconMunicipal Planning icon
  3. Bike racks should be firmly secured and support the bicycle in two places to promote stability.Site Planning iconMunicipal Planning icon
  4. Provide a sufficient number of bicycle lockers in station areas to enable commuters to store their bicycles and complete their commute. Transit providers should undertake a periodic review of usage to gauge demand for additional lockers.Site Planning icon

amenities

  1. Consider implementing bicycle amenities at major transit stops and terminals. See Guideline 3.4.2 on planning bicycle amenities.Municipal Planning icon
  2. Provide amenities such as drinking fountains, air pumps and a repair stand within a station area. These can help support riders on their journey.Site Planning icon
  3. Consider providing bike rental or bike share facilities within station areas. Bike share or rental facilities can act as an extension of the transit system, enabling transit to reach local destinations without having users bring their own bicycles on transit vehicles or leave them parked overnight at a station or stop.Site Planning icon

maintenance

  1. Maintain bicycle facilities during winter months to support year-round cycling.Site Planning icon

2.3.5 Enhancing Transfers between Systems

Transit stops and stations should be designed to facilitate the efficient transfer of passengers between different modes of transportation and across jurisdictions.

As cities and towns move towards more integrated, inter-regional transportation, ensuring efficient transfers between systems will become increasingly important. Inconvenient transfer points and poorly integrated systems can add substantial time to multi-transfer journeys discouraging transit use and encouraging the use of private motor vehicles.

Enabling users to efficiently transfer between systems is key to the creation of a more user-friendly transit network capable of competing with the flexibility of the automobile. Special attention should also be made to ensure transfers between transit systems, in particular between conventional and specialized transit services, are accessible to people with disabilities through step-free environments and other measures. If connecting transit systems are not coordinated, longer, cross-jurisdictional journeys, which have the greatest potential for replacing private automobile trips, can be severely delayed.

The layout of this station in Nashville facilitates easy transfers between systems.

The layout of this station in Nashville facilitates easy transfers between systems.

Strategies:

minimizing transfer times

  1. Co-locate the transit facilities associated with different systems/modes where feasible to enable quick transfers. This should include the co-location of public and private service providers such as coach services and specialized transit services.Regional Planning iconMunicipal Planning icon
  2. Where the co-location of facilities is not feasible, provide direct, dedicated connections between the two systems/modes.Site Planning icon
  3. Situate bus platforms and passenger drop-off and pick-up locations associated with rapid transit or rail stations where they can provide passengers with direct access to the station. The creation of a transit plaza / pedestrian plaza is one strategy for integrating transfer points within a station area.Site Planning icon
  4. Design platforms at stations to minimize walking distances for connecting passengers and avoid grade changes between platforms and local transit connections. Where feasible, all modes should share the same platform to eliminate the need to change platforms.Site Planning iconLarge Community iconBig City icon
  5. Prioritize bus traffic over other motorized vehicles at regional rail or rapid transit stations to facilitate faster transfer times and speed up bus services.Site Planning iconLarge Community iconBig City icon

Bus only lanes at major transit hubs in Los Angeles speed access times for connecting services, reducing travel delays.

Bus only lanes at major transit hubs in Los Angeles speed access times for connecting services, reducing travel delays.

Recommended Resources

Station Site and Access Planning Manual (Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority)

BART Bicycle Access and Parking Plan (San Francisco)

Mobility Hub Guidelines (Metrolinx)

coordination

  1. Coordinate transit routes and schedules to minimize waiting times for transferring passengers. Further information on transit scheduling can be found in Guideline 3.1.2 of this document.Municipal Planning icon
  2. Transit agencies serving different jurisdictions should coordinate routes and schedules to fill missing gaps in the system (Guideline 3.1.2). Where a station is located at the edge of two jurisdictions, the respective transit agencies should collaborate in the design and retrofit of the stations to ensure the seamless integration of facilities.Regional Planning iconMunicipal Planning icon
  3. Consider fare integration programs that facilitate more seamless intercity or interregional travel (Guideline 3.5.1).Regional Planning iconMunicipal Planning icon

A rapid transit station in Stockholm places a convenient waiting area between the subway platforms to the left and bus terminal to the right.

A rapid transit station in Stockholm places a convenient waiting area between the subway platforms to the left and bus terminal to the right.


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