Developing bus transfer facilities for maximum transit agency and community benefit

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - interchange/transfer, planning - safety/accidents, land use - impacts, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian


Acceptance, Architecture, Bus transit, Communities, Design, Economic impacts, Joint development, Land use, Livable communities, Location, Neighborhoods, Pedestrian amenities, Pedestrian safety, Quality of life, Revitalization (Communities), Social impacts, Transfer centers, Urban renewal


Bus transfer centers are often regarded as 'undesirable neighbors' that are difficult to site and difficult to gain support for due to noise, exhaust, traffic congestion, and the presence of unwanted passengers. In fact, there are some locations where major bus transfer activities are not only not welcome, but are probably not in the best interests of the surrounding development. However, many transit agencies are elevating the acceptance and relevance of transit in their service areas by making their transfer centers true community assets rather than nuisances. This often means finding the right location for a transit center for both the surrounding community and the passengers, replacing run down development with new facilities, incorporating exciting and inspiring architecture and design, and improving the pedestrian amenities and safety and security of the immediate area around the transfer center. Some communities have greatly expanded the concept of bus transfer centers by using them as locations for vital health and human services, as well as other conveniences that improve the quality of life for the residents of the surrounding community. In addition, others have utilized the advantage of their Federal grants to build transit centers that provide opportunities for joint development that help to generate revenues that can be used for other public improvements in the immediate area, which help to attract additional private investment and positive development where there once was blight. This report highlights how four transit agencies used their bus transfer centers to not only improve their image and community relations, but to serve as catalysts for positive development in the surrounding areas.