Transport and environmental effects of rail-based Park and Ride: evidence from the Netherlands

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - car, mode - park and ride, mode - rail, place - europe, technology - emissions


Park and Ride, Rail, Interchange, Parking, Unintended effects


Park and Ride (P&R) facilities have become increasingly popular in many European metropolitan areas. Despite its popularity, however, the real impact of P&R has been criticized by many who suggest that P&R can have little or even negative effects on car use reduction. This is mainly due to the so-called unintended effects, the most familiar being the “abstraction from public transport”; i.e., some P&R users had been making the whole trip by public transport prior the introduction of the P&R facility. This paper uses the findings of a users survey (N = 738) conducted in nine rail-based P&Rs located around the cities of Rotterdam and The Hague (The Netherlands) in order to get an overview of the impacts in terms of the vehicle km travelled (VKT) and the vehicle emissions (CO2, NOx, PM10 and SO2) of this popular transport infrastructure. In comparison with the existing literature, a number of additional unintended effects have been found, namely ’abstraction from bike’ and ’Park and walk users’ of P&R facilities, which reinforce the ambiguity surrounding the impact of P&R. Additionally, large differences have been found between the net impact of P&Rs according to their function: remote P&Rs perform better than peripheral P&Rs. This study suggests that the introduction of a fee for parking would reduce the unintended effects. Finally, it presents a number of policy suggestions.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Journal of Transport Geography home Page: