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156 Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation By consolidating ground access services in a single location near the passenger terminal, a GTC can benefit the traveling public and encourage the use of public transportation in the following ways: A GTC allows commercial ground transportation passengers (and vehicles) to make fewer stops, especially at airports with multiple terminals or multiple passenger pick-up/drop-off areas, thereby reducing passenger travel times. A GTC reduces curbside requirements at the terminal buildings. A GTC reduces traffic volumes and vehicle miles of travel on terminal area roads. A GTC allows passengers to more easily recognize the entire array of transportation choices and thereby compare available service, fares, and travel times. A GTC facilitates the provision of staffed transportation and ticket sale counters and supports kiosks or small news/food/beverage concessions. A GTC provides a central location for commercial vehicle staging and holding. A GTC reduces the operating costs for the public transportation providers, especially at air- ports with multiple terminals or multiple commercial vehicle stops. A GTC can support or be combined with a consolidated rental car customer service center. Among the key factors required to encourage use of the public transportation services at a GTC are (1) short walking distances to/from the aircraft boarding gate areas (or the availability of a reliable and comfortable linkage, such as an automated people mover that provides single- vehicle service to/from the GTC) and (2) passenger service equivalent to that provided at the airline terminal. This level of passenger service implies that passengers have the ability to check and claim baggage at the GTC and do not need to carry their bags long distances or on and off a people mover or shuttle bus. At some airports, a GTC is simply a surface parking lot or portion of a parking structure reserved for certain commercial ground transportation services (e.g., scheduled vans/buses or courtesy vehicles). Miami International Airport is completing the early elements of the Miami Intermodal Center, an ambitious GTC that will allow airline passengers to transfer to/from regional rail systems, scheduled buses, rental cars, private vehicles, taxis, bicycles, and pedestrian ways. Ultimately, the Miami Intermodal Center will provide airline ticketing and baggage- handling facilities. In the long term, an automated people mover would link the Miami Inter- modal Center with airport passenger terminal buildings, with potential connections to the Miami cruise ship berths. The Miami Intermodal Center is being funded, in part, through loans advanced through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance Act. Long-range plans for the cen- ter include a mixed-use development including office, hotel, retail, and entertainment space. Automated Traffic Monitoring and Management Programs More than 25 U.S. airports use automated vehicle identification (AVI) systems to improve the management of commercial vehicle activity. AVI systems provide reliable data on the volume of vehicle trips by location, date, and operator. Common AVI system applications at airports include monitoring commercial vehicle activity, controlling access to restricted areas, dispatching/ controlling shuttle bus and taxi operations, and providing shuttle bus passengers with arrival time and stop location information. AVI systems can allow airport managers to promote the efficient use of airport facilities by establishing the following: Restrictions on number of trips--The AVI system can record the number of trips each ground transportation operator makes so that airport management can set limits on hourly, daily, and/or monthly trips. Measures to encourage consolidated operations--Management can promote consolidated courtesy vehicle operations by charging participating ground transportation operators