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56 Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations Station Access Objectives The following broad objectives underlie rapid transit station access: Provide convenient, safe, and secure access for all station users. Make transfers easy, attractive, and seamless. Recognize that pedestrian access is the basis for all aspects of station access design. Reflect the needs of all users, including the elderly and persons with disabilities. Optimize each mode's access to the station. Develop access designs that encourage and reinforce transit ridership. Design access that is acceptable to users, transit and highway agencies, and surrounding communities. To the maximum extent practical, access designs should connect stations with their surrounding communities. Sometimes this integration can be achieved through good urban design or TOD. Station access priorities depend on each station's location, history, setting, land uses, and density. Station access plans should generally consider, at a minimum: 1. Pedestrians and bicyclists, 2. Bus riders, 3. Auto passenger drop-off and pick-up, 4. Short-term parking, and 5. Long-term parking. Access designs should reflect established transit and highway best practices and standards. These include TCRP Report 10: Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual, AASHTO's "Green Book" and park-and-ride and pedestrian guides, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, state-developed design manuals, and transit agency design and operating standards. Additional Considerations Several overriding considerations are important in planning for access to public transit stations. These include nontraditional auto access and travel patterns. Planners should be aware of the following and consider how they may affect station access decisions. Reverse commutes and nontraditional commute patterns create both a challenge and opportunity for transit agencies. Reverse commuters require access provisions at stations where the majority of passengers are egressing, and vice versa. Accessing passengers may compete for space in the areas immediately surrounding the platforms. Provisions should be made, however, as they use reverse-direction service that is often under-utilized. In fact, where permitted, some reverse commute riders use suburban park-and-ride lots to store their vehicles while they are home, using them to travel between the station and their work. This can be complementary with traditional commute patterns if the timing is right. Car sharing and bike sharing are emerging to expand the reach of transit. In suburban locations where land uses and transit service are not as dense, riders can use car sharing and bike sharing to reach destinations beyond walking distance from the station. Agencies should consider provisions for car and bike sharing services, with preferential placement near the station. Carpooling and vanpooling to stations is also growing in popularity, particularly where parking is priced and/or limited in supply. In fact, some communities have seen the emergence of casual carpools, in which drivers pick-up passengers at designated locations and take them