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CHAPTER 4 Station Typology, Access Modes, and Access Policy Guidance The access modes used by passengers arriving at rapid transit stations relate closely to the devel- opment patterns and densities of each station's catchment area. They also reflect the opportunities available in the station area for walking, bicycling, feeder bus transit, and automobile access (including parking). This chapter shows the general relationship between station access modes and land use. It sets forth a station typology for commuter rail, heavy rail, light rail, and BRT. It then discusses station boardings and arrival modes and shows the effects of major park-and-ride facilities on station boardings. Finally, it suggests station access policy guidelines based on the typology and charac- teristics of each access mode. General Considerations Passenger access to rapid transit stations can be provided by several modes. These modes vary by system and station location. On a system-wide basis, they reflect the age and coverage of the system, and the characteristics of the system's service areas. The multi-modal dimension of individual station access is clearly illustrated by access provisions at the Sierra Madre Station along Los Angeles' Gold Line. A weather-protected footbridge over a freeway (Exhibit 4-1) provides access to the center island station platform. This bridge connects with the fourth floor of a five-story parking garage. Bus stops and bicycle lockers are provided on the first floor of the garage and a pedestrian route to the surrounding area's street network is provided from the garage elevators. The access mode emphasis at any given station depends upon surrounding land use types and densities, frequency of connecting bus services, street spacing, sidewalk availability and connectivity, and the number of parking spaces provided. Exhibit 4-2 shows a generalized modal use pattern as a function of distance from the city center (a surrogate for density). There are, however, many site-specific corridor conditions that influence passenger arrival and departure modes. Accordingly, more systematic station classification systems were developed. Station Typologies The project team developed station typologies for each rapid transit mode to provide an overview of the types of stations currently in use in transit systems throughout the United States and Canada. These typologies illustrate general characteristics for stations, including land use intensity, feeder transit connections, parking availability, and the quality of the pedestrian network. 33

OCR for page 33
34 Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations Exhibit 4-1. Footbridge providing access to Sierra Madre Station, CA. Source: Kittelson & Associates, Inc. The typology described in this paper relates only to physical factors present at transit stations and within the station area (roughly defined as mile, although this may vary by station). Station types provide a general idea of the attributes and access/egress mode characteristics associated with the different stations and their primary function within the greater transportation system. In practice, stations will rarely fit a given station type exactly; rather, most stations will share the characteristics of multiple types. Traditionally, most non-CBD transit stations served primarily as trip origins, with passenger destinations located in the CBD. However, as suburban employment increases and transit expands to serve this market, "reverse" and suburb-to-suburb commutes via transit are increasing. To capture the effects of egress planning in the typology, the typology includes both origin and destination non-CBD stations. Exhibit 4-2. Conceptual illustration of density's effect on access mode choice.