Transforming a Bus Station into a Transit-Oriented Development: Improving Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Transit Connections

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - track, infrastructure - station, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, planning - route design, land use - transit oriented development, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - bike, mode - bike, mode - pedestrian


Transit oriented development, Transit connectivity, Transfer centers, Shuttle buses, People movers, Pedestrians, Pedestrian bridges, Passenger conveyors, Improvements, Footbridges, Foot bridges, El Monte (California), Cycling paths, Cycling, Cycle tracks, Costs, Connectivity, Bus terminals, Bus stations, Bikeways, Bicycling, Bicycle trails, Bicycle routes, Bicycle paths, Automated people movers, Access


While most transit-oriented development (TOD) is oriented toward rail, bus stations can also serve as centers of TODs. The El Monte, California, bus station (EMBS), around which a transit village has been proposed, is examined. The village would have little impact on the surrounding community, though, without improvements in access to the EMBS. With a 1-km ring as the potential sphere of influence, theoretically no one can walk, bicycle, or ride a shuttle bus to the station, given impedances such as major street crossings and lengthy feeder shuttle headways. With construction of two pedestrian bridges and signing and lighting improvements along an adjacent bicycle path, the number of residents in the SOI would rise to potentially 40,800, with two-thirds of them within a 5-km bicycle ride of the EMBS. The proposed improvements might cost about $5 million. To connect the EMBS to a business park and Metrolink rail station located just outside the ring, an automated people mover (APM) is proposed. The APM would serve the roughly 5,000 employees of the business park, and it would facilitate transfers between the EMBS, Metrolink, and the proposed Silver Line (light rail to terminate at the Metrolink station). The APM would cost more than $30 million, but it could enhance transit use, local development, and real estate values. For areas within the ring not affected by the improvements, shuttle bus services need reorientation. The importance of pedestrian connectivity is emphasized, as are the cost-effectiveness of bicycling improvements, ideal setting for an APM, need for streamlined shuttle bus service, and importance of multiple access modes.