Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - rail, place - airport


United States, Shared-ride vans, Rail transit, Market share, Intracity bus transportation, Bus transit, Airport access, Access to airports


Transportation plans in some communities have focused on providing rail service to the local airport, whereas other communities have emphasized bus and van service. The opportunity for rail, bus, and van service at U.S. airports and the use of these services by airline passengers at the large airports in the United States and overseas are reviewed. On the basis of the airline passenger mode share data presented, there appears to be a "ceiling" on the market for public transportation (rail, bus, and shared-ride vans) at airports in the United States. The ceiling on public transportation use by airline passengers in most cities appears to be about 10 to 15%, even at airports with rail service. The primary potential market for rail service is passengers who have trip ends in downtown areas (or other areas well served by rail), who are traveling alone and who have little or no baggage, and who are familiar with the rail service and are able to walk from the rail station to their final destination. In many cities the objectives of transportation planners and airport operators (i.e., encouraging the use of efficient access modes) might best be served by transportation plans that focus on bus or van services.