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CHAPTER 2 Station Access Planning Tools and Process Station access planning is integral to the overall station development effort. Planning is essen- tial for improving existing facilities and for designing new facilities. A major objective of the station access planning process is to achieve consensus from the various groups involved in the station planning effort. Consensus is a laudable goal in any planning process, but is particularly important for station access planning, as implementing many improvements requires multiple actors (e.g., successful joint development requires support from both the transit agency and local jurisdiction). A second objective of the planning process is to encourage a multi-modal approach to station access planning and decision making. The following process is intended to aid agency planners in identifying multi-modal access priorities and weighing benefits and trade-offs. This chapter contains best practices for station access planning, including the following primary elements: · Principles of successful station access planning; · A suggested eight-step planning process, with detailed information on the key characteristics of each step; and · Suggested improvements to transit access planning based on the case studies conducted as part of this research. The guidance is based on case study lessons learned from experiences of a number of agencies operating various forms of rapid transit. Chapter 3 summarizes the specific findings of each case study. Successful Station Access Planning Successful rapid transit station access planning can be defined in terms of outcomes and process. Outcomes are the on-the-ground results of the access planning process: the services offered and their quality; community compatibility and integration; spillover effects; and, most importantly, access utilization. A little-used access service can hardly be considered a success. For station access planning to produce good outcomes, the rapid transit service itself should: (1) offer competitive service to major attractors; (2) have sufficient capacity to take on additional passengers; and (3) serve a sufficient existing or potential travel market--population and/or employment-- within the station's commuter-shed to make investments in improved access worthwhile. Different settings usually require different station access solutions. Rapid transit services and stations on older systems that have stations in denser communities, such as MBTA (Boston) and Metro-North (New York) often have little or no capacity for increased commuter parking in built-up areas. Some municipalities within these older station areas actively discourage or 5