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CHAPTER 9 Transit Access Bus (and in some cases rail) is the major alternative to driving for rapid transit riders that live more than ½ mile from rapid transit stations. It can expand the station catchment area consider- ably, particularly for riders that do not have a car. It is also an important access mode for the elderly and mobility disadvantaged. Finally, it reduces the land requirements around stations that would otherwise be required for park-and-ride. Bus access to stations generally accommodates about 25 to 35 percent of station boardings (except at outlying commuter rail stations where there is little or no service availability). Examples of feeder transit mode shares for BART and Denver RTD shown in Exhibit 9-1 and Exhibit 9-2, respectively, illustrate the importance of bus access. At major outlying transit centers, often the outermost stations, buses account for 50 to 75 percent of all station boardings: · 95th Dan Ryan, Chicago 75 percent · 79th Dan Ryan, Chicago 60 percent · Forest Hills, Boston 60 percent · Sullivan Square, Boston 53 percent The passenger transfer between bus stops and rapid transit stations should be safe and convenient, and walking distances to and from station platforms should be kept to a minimum (Exhibit 9-3). Connecting bus services should be frequent, and buses should not be overcrowded. Fare structures should not inhibit the transfer. The guidelines that follow show how these objectives can be realized. General Planning Guidelines The following guidelines will prove useful in developing the type and design of bus transit access to rapid transit stations. Additional design guidance is available in the Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual (40). The type and design of the bus-to-rapid transit transfer facility will depend on the station location, the number of buses to be accommodated, pedestrian movements, and traffic engineering considerations. Key considerations include: the type of vehicles to be served (buses, electric trolleybuses, streetcars, LRT); location (on-street, off-street); service frequencies and patterns; fare collection practices; and pedestrian access to rapid transit stations. Facility Location Transfers between local bus and rapid transit service should be provided wherever the two services intersect. They are especially desirable at the outermost rapid transit stations. Passenger interchange facilities generally should be provided where the following conditions apply: 1. Rapid transit service and local bus services intersect. 2. There is a natural convergence of bus routes on approaches to the rapid transit station. 77
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78 Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations Exhibit 9-1. BART system-wide access targets (AM peak period). 1998 Mode 2005 Targets 2010 Targets Mode Share (%) (%) (%) Walk 23.0 24.0 24.5 Bike 2.0 2.5 3.0 Transit 21.0 21.5 22.0 Drop-off, carpool, taxi 16.0 19.0 19.5 Drive alone 38.0 33.0 31.0 Source: BART Exhibit 9-2. RTD system-wide access modes (Denver). SW Corridor SE Corridor 2001 (%) 2006 (%) 2007 (%) Walk 12 28 25 Bicycle 2 3 1 Transit 29 29 21 Drop-off NA 5 5 Other 7 - 3 Carpool 7 - 5 Drive alone 48 35 40 Source: Denver RTD Exhibit 9-3. Feeder bus connections located close to station platform (Sound Transit Commuter Rail Station, Kent, WA). Source: Kittelson & Associates, Inc.
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Transit Access 79 3. The transfer point is located at an outlying activity center that generates its own traffic. 4. The transfer simplifies service scheduling and dependability over a direct bus routing (for example, the breaking of one long route into two shorter routes). 5. Local bus routes can be rerouted to serve (or already serve) rapid transit service. The transfer between local and rapid transit services should save at least 5 minutes to the city center, compared to a one-seat ride on a local service. It is essential to provide adequate bus access to the transfer point, including bus priority treatments where needed. Facility Type Station facility operations and layout should provide direct, convenient, and conflict-free pedestrian access between local buses and rapid transit stations. Bringing bus passengers close to station entrances should be accomplished with minimum deviations of buses from their normal routes. Both on- and off-street terminals (and stations) should allow rapid passenger interchange, facilitated bus entry to and exit from the station, and minimal increase in bus miles. The choice between on-street and off-street bus station locations also depends on where the stations are or will be located, and the character of the surrounding area. Key considerations include land use, development and street system densities, and bus route patterns and volumes. Urban stations in built-up areas will generally favor on-street provisions for new facilities and redesigning existing facilities. Suburban rapid transit stations will be conducive to off-street transfer facilities, especially when bus interchanging volumes are high. On-street Stations On-street stations may include existing streets at more-urban locations (Exhibit 9-4), or new streets that are created on transit agency property as part of a TOD project. On-street facilities are Exhibit 9-4. On-street bus facility example (Oakland, CA). Source: Kittelson & Associates, Inc.