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OCR for page 86
86 Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations The table also gives passenger seated and standing capacities for each bus type. The standing capacities represent "crush load" conditions. For schedule design purposes, the standing loads should be about 75 percent of the values cited. There is increasing use of articulated buses on heavily traveled bus routes. These buses normally are approximately 70 feet long and commonly have three sets of doors. Bus Operating Practice and Terminal Design Several bus operating practices influence transfer facility location arrangement and design. Service Patterns Buses may operate through a rapid transit station area or they may terminate there. Through- routing of buses is common at many interchange points, and is better served by on-street stops with recessed passenger loading areas. Through-routing is generally desirable where most passengers are going to other places along the bus route and are not primarily using the service to transfer to the rapid transit route. Outlying terminals provide convenient points for breaking up long routes, especially where the terminals are break points in urban density patterns. Common practice is to reroute buses into the rapid transit stations to encourage the use of rapid transit for longer trips. Stations also can serve as the focal point of an integrated transit center. Off-street bus loading areas (bus bays, loops, or terminals) should be provided where there are more than 12 to 15 buses terminating at a single stop and where the stop serves as a staging area for buses, or is at a rapid transit station. Terminal Types and Operations Bus terminals or transfer points may be located on-street or off-street. On-street terminals generally involve reserving curb lanes for passenger discharge and pick-up. Linear transfer areas may be located midblock or they may cover several blocks. Sometimes, recessed bus bays are provided. The bays may be contiguous to the travel lanes, or they may be physically separated. In both cases, buses operate parallel to the general traffic lanes. Shallow sawtooth bus bays are commonly used at off-street bus terminals and transfer points because they allow independent bus entry and exit. The Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual provides additional detail on bus bay design considerations and operations (40). Bus Operating Sequence Separate bus berths should be provided for alighting passengers, bus layovers, and boarding passengers. Terminating buses should be able to unload without delay, pass through a holding area where they can unload passengers if the normal berth is occupied, proceed to a layover area, and proceed to a boarding area once the layover is complete. Unloading passengers should have short, direct, conflict-free access to the rapid transit station entrance. Buses should load and unload at the same point only where bus volumes are light or where bus routes do not terminate at the station. A specific passenger loading area should be designated for each bus route or group of routes. Heavily used routes may need several berths.

OCR for page 86
Transit Access 87 Internal Bus Routing Roadways used by buses and bus berth configurations should enable buses to circulate in the direction that places the door where pedestrians are boarding. Most commonly, counter-clockwise circulation will bring passengers to external walkways near station entrances. But clockwise circulation patterns works best for center island stations. Maximum separation of pedestrians and vehicle paths should be provided. Bus access should be separated from park-and-ride access if possible (Exhibit 9-11). Bus Berth Capacity The number of bus berth positions should be based on the maximum number of buses expected to use the terminal at any given time. More specifically, berthing requirements will depend upon the number of peak hour passengers, bus dwell times, and berth turnover. Boarding and alighting times depend upon the number of available door channels, the methods of fare collection and number of passengers to be processed, and internal vehicle configurations. Current experience suggests that 20 to 30 berths are a reasonable upper limit for most urban conditions. The bus facility design should accommodate demands after the rapid transit station is opened and ridership has stabilized. The loading platform and the terminal footpaths also should accommodate anticipated future demands 25 years into the future. Transit agencies normally base berth capacities on actual operating experience. Berth requirements can be estimated in various ways: 1. They can be based on analogy-comparison of rapid transit station boarding at similar locations along the rapid transit line. 2. They can be based on the various bus capacity equations in the Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual. 3. They can be based on estimates of the time requirements to board or alight from a fully loaded bus. Exhibit 9-11. Bus circulation separated from park-and-ride circulation (Walnut Creek BART Station, CA). Source: Kittelson & Associates, Inc.

OCR for page 86
88 Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations Passenger service times and bus boarding times can be reduced (and berth throughout increased) by eliminating on-bus fare collections (i.e., pre-paid fares), increasing the number of door channels, and using all doors for passenger boarding or alighting during peak periods and providing bus layovers elsewhere. Bus Berth Dimensions The dimensions of bus terminal facilities depends on the number of buses served, the size of buses (e.g., 40-passenger, articulated, etc.), bus operating policy, and the bus berth design (e.g., linear or shallow sawtooth). Linear bus berths (common in on-street operations) require at least 35 to 70 feet for the bus stops plus at least 15 feet for bus maneuvering. Shallow sawtooth bays (common in terminals) require 65 to 85 feet of linear space. Exhibit 9-12 shows illustrative bus berth configurations. Exhibit 9-12. Illustrative bus berth configurations. Source: TCRP Report 90 (20)