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Six Steps in a Market-Based Strategy for Improving Airport Ground Access 25 as either all exurban in nature or all urban in nature. The following airports are good illustrative Key Challenges in examples of three types of markets: Step 4 · An Airport Oriented to a Dense Urban Market. To San Francisco International Airport, the · Design a set of majority of trips come from areas in which airport trip ends are densely concentrated: about 18,000 air travelers come from zones with more than 50 trip ends per square mile; this area services for has an overall average of about 225 trip ends per square mile. San Francisco has the nation's a dense urban single largest market for airport trips from the kind of highly concentrated trip ends that can be served by a variety of fixed-route and -schedule modes, including rail. market · An Airport Oriented to an Exurban Market. To Denver International Airport, more than an exurban 9,000 air travelers come from zones that have trip densities of less than 5 trips per square mile. market Of the 27 most transit-oriented U.S. airports, Denver's airport had the highest volume of "exurban" trip ends, which come from highly dispersed zones of origin. a middle · An Airport Oriented to a Middle Market. To Los Angeles International Airport, the major- market ity of airport trips come from market areas that are neither dense nor exurban in nature: about · Incorporate the 21,000 air travelers originate in areas with less than 50 trip ends per square mile but more than 5 trip ends per square mile; this area has an overall average of about 15 trip ends per square attributes of the mile. This area represents the United States' largest market for medium-density modes, such successful sys- as door-to-door vans. tems, including quality of Step 4: Design a Program of Services and Strategies Line-haul for Airport Ground Access service to CBD Having established an understanding of the nature of the markets for airport access services, a connection at ground access strategy can be developed to include a set of services appropriate to the submarkets revealed. During this step, a set of candidate modal services must be selected, determined by the the airport needs of the travelers and by the ability of the markets to support specific services. At this point, service decisions must be made between investment in rail versus bus systems. beyond the The decision about whether to build a rail system to a U.S. airport may be driven more by CBD the overall public transportation strategy of the region rather than by airport access needs in isolation. When a region, such as San Francisco, has invested heavily in downtown rail appropriate distribution services and other regional connections through the system, extension of baggage that system to cover the airport can be seen as part of a regional transportation strategy. By strategy contrast, when the rail services do not currently serve a major role in a bigger network of collection and distribution, the investment in a stand-alone rail system to the airport may not · Design a set of make sense. services to appeal In this phase of the process of improving public modes to major airports, services must be to four market designed to achieve certain service quality attributes revealed in the analysis of successful systems segments: around the world. Chapter 3 summarizes a set of attributes that are important for services. Those attributes are not specifically tied to the choice of bus versus rail but rather describe the needs of Resident the traveler without regard to mode or technology. business Resident Lessons Learned from Successful Systems non-business The key lessons from the analysis of international systems presented in Chapter 3 do not form Non-resident an argument for or against rail solutions in the United States. The key issue is to understand the business attributes of service from the European experience and to design services that deal with those attributes. Each of the four attribute areas defined in that chapter can be reviewed for the impli- Non-resident cations for a choice of mode in the United States. non-business
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26 Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation Quality of the Line-Haul Connection to the CBD Finding an available right-of-way is a problem for the designer of a bus access system and for the designer of a rail system. Finding an available express track has been determined to be a prob- lem throughout Europe. Multistop rail transit service in London was perceived to be so slow that new, non-stop rail was created. Planners at Munich's airport are looking at magnetic levitation (maglev) alternatives to deal with the historically slow rail travel times there. Universally, buses stalled in general-purpose traffic cannot provide a competitive advantage over the automobile. By contrast, volumes on the Braintree Logan Express bus service (Boston) increased by 50% when a bus lane was added to the system. If the metropolitan system can provide free-flowing bus lanes, total travel times may well be lower by bus. Simply extending multistop local service to include the airport is a formula doomed to failure. Quality of Connection at the Airport The selection of the rail mode does not ensure a good quality connection from the baggage pick- up location, nor does the selection of bus preclude a good connection. In Europe, some rail stations are located immediately adjacent to a common baggage pick-up location, while other rail stations require clumsy, uncomfortable connections by bus shuttle vehicles. In the United States, connecting charter buses leave from the Las Vegas airport from within a unified terminal complex adjacent to a common baggage pick-up area, while many U.S. rail services operate from locations far from major baggage pick-up areas. This issue of the high-quality connection between airline operations and the ground access vehicle needs to be solved for whatever ground mode is selected. On the other hand, the new data from Oakland challenges the assumption that directness of connection is more important than underlying market conditions. Certain market segments, such as resident non-business, may be willing to put up with lower levels of service amenity in a trade-off with more important trip-making objectives. Quality of the Connecting Service Beyond the Terminal Providing high-quality services to areas beyond the traditional downtown is a problem for both rail and bus systems. Connections between the major rail terminals in downtown London are difficult, and the mode share for Heathrow air travelers to connecting national rail service is low. By contrast, trains from Zurich Airport rail station are totally integrated into the national rail system, and mode share to national destinations is extremely high. The Newark Liberty International Airport rail station provides a case study of the appeal of longer distance rail services as a mode of airport ground access; at the present time, the market patterns are not showing the expected growth in ridership there. The Existence of a Strategy for Baggage While the designers of airport ground access systems must deal with the impediment of bag- gage and its negative impact on the choice of public modes, this report has created a compre- hensive discussion of the failure--through much of the world--of downtown airport check-in terminals operated by airline personnel. Chapter 5 documents problems at downtown terminals serving London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Munich, Newark, and Madrid airports, while reporting more positive market experiences in Hong Kong, Vienna, Moscow, and Kuala Lumpur. Systems operating national, longer distance rail equipment, such as that in use in Copenhagen, can allow for the use of existing baggage storage areas. For rail systems operating standard commuter and rapid transit equipment, the problem is only rarely solved in a manner satisfactory to the traveler with large baggage. Generically, the accommodation of baggage is not an issue between bus and rail, but rather is an attribute to be sought by the service designer. Dealing with the baggage issue tends to argue for