Part 1: Intermodal Transfer Facilities and Ferry Transportation:Developing Bus Transfer Facilities for Maximum Transit Agency and Community Benefit

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - interchange/transfer, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, planning - safety/accidents


Transfer centers, Site selection, Safety and security, Public relations, Placement (Location), Pedestrian amenities, Location, Locating, Investments, Investment requirements, Intracity bus transportation, Government funding, Economic development, Corpus Christi (Texas), Columbus (Ohio), Charlotte (North Carolina), Cedar Rapids (Iowa), Bus transit, Bus transfer facilities, Best practices, Acceptance


Bus transfer centers are often regarded as undesirable neighbors. They are difficult to site, and it is difficult to gain support for them because of noise, exhaust, traffic congestion, and the presence of unwanted passengers. Locations for proposed major bus transfer activities are not only unwelcome, but some are probably not in the best interests of the surrounding development. However, many transit agencies are increasing acceptance and relevance of transit in their service areas by making transfer centers true community assets rather than nuisances. This often means finding a location that is right for both surrounding community and passengers, replacing rundown development with facilities that have exciting and inspiring architecture and design, and improving the pedestrian amenities and safety and security of the immediate area. Some communities have expanded the concept of bus transfer centers by using them as locations for vital health and human services and other conveniences that improve the quality of life for the residents. Others have used federal grants that provide opportunities for joint developments. Such developments could generate revenues that can be used for public improvements in the immediate area and that help to attract additional private investment and development where there once was blight. This paper highlights how four transit agencies used bus transfer centers not only to improve their images and community relations, but also to serve as catalysts for positive development in the surrounding areas.