Is the provision of park-and-ride facilities at light rail stations an effective approach to reducing vehicle kilometers traveled in a US context?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - park and ride, mode - rail, land use - transit oriented development, planning - surveys


Park-and-ride, TOD, Vehicle kilometers traveled, Rail transit


Park-and-Ride (PNR) facilities are a commonly used means of making a transit system more widely available. However, given that a PNR passenger must drive for part of the trip, this approach to transit provision has an ambiguous influence on vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT). The impact of PNR on VKT is highly dependent of how PNR users would choose to travel if the PNR facilities were not available. Given that this issue has received little attention in a US context, we use the light rail system in Charlotte, North Carolina as a case study to examine the potential impact of PNR removal on VKT. Using a travel survey of PNR passengers, we estimate the VKT currently generated while driving to and from the rail stations and then estimate how VKT would change under various PNR removal scenarios that assume different behavioral responses. We find that, under the most realistic scenarios, PNR removal would lead the average PNR passenger to increase her driving by 8–15 VKT per round trip.


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


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