Study of Park-and-Ride Facilities and Their Use in the San Francisco Bay Area of California

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, infrastructure - stop, planning - service quality, planning - surveys, policy - parking, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - mass transit, mode - carpool, mode - park and ride


Transit, Surveys, Service quality, Security measures, Security, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, San Francisco Bay Area, Rail transit stations, Quality of service, Public transit, Passenger service quality, Parking lots, Park and ride, On time performance, Mass transit, Local transit, Lighting, Illumination, Fringe parking, Focus groups, Commuters, Carpools, Bus stop shelters


Park-and-ride lots are important support facilities for transit and ridesharing in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. The authors designed and carried out the region’s first large-scale, detailed study of park-and-ride facilities and users. Three Bay Area Rapid Transit (rail) station parking lots were also surveyed. The user survey results showed that almost all the parking users were commuters; at the freeway lots, half were transit users and the remainder were organized and casual carpoolers. Most drove alone to the park-and-ride lot and made long trips to work, many more than 30 mi one way. Users had concerns about lot security, the lack of lighting, and the quality of transit services offered. Analysis of focus group data determined that schedule adherence rather than frequency was the cause of most concerns. Participants expressed a willingness to pay for parking that was fenced, security patrolled, and lighted, with shelters for waiting. Together, the surveys and focus groups have provided insights into ways to improve the park-and-ride lots and the services offered there, as well as on how travelers view transit and carpooling options. The results provide a sound basis for planning improvements.