Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - transit oriented development, infrastructure - station, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, mode - rail, place - north america


rail, access to station, transit-oriented development, cycling, walking


Rail is a critical component of public transport systems in major cities, but the effectiveness of rail is fundamentally determined by the quality of passenger access to stations. Planning for access to rail stations is generally not well-developed as a discipline in Australia or the USA, and many of the variables that affect quality of station access are not widely known.
Typical transport analysis focuses on the automobile, often to the detriment of other transport modes. Meanwhile, rigorous analysis methods for non-auto modes are currently in their infancy among the professions interested in transport.
Research into the factors contributing to station access mode choice suggests that station-area characteristics figure prominently in mode choice decisions.
The paper summarises findings from a review of literature exploring station-area access planning, and the emerging field of non-auto transport evaluation methods. We find that encouraging walking, cycling, and riding public transport to rail stations can increase ridership without the need to provide additional car parking facilities, which clearly tend to be expensive, land-intensive, and which generate localised congestion. Instead, station-area land can be used more productively, through residential, office, and retail transit-oriented development (TOD) which provides economic value to the community and ridership for the rail agency.