Response of Regional Rail Park-and-Ride Users to Parking Price Changes: Systemwide Results and a Detailed Study of Two Stations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, planning - surveys, ridership - mode choice, policy - parking, mode - rail, mode - park and ride


Surveys, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, San Francisco (California), Ridership, Patronage (Transit ridership), Parking payment systems, Parking fees, Park and ride, Mode choice, Modal choice, Impact studies, Fringe parking, Focus groups, Choice of transportation, Arrival times


Traveler response to the introduction of parking user fees at heavily patronized park-and-ride facilities within the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District of California is investigated. After an analysis of systemwide impacts, detailed research at two stations was performed with mail-back surveys, license plate surveys, and focus groups. The primary finding is that introduction of daily parking fees did not cause significant changes in access mode choice, facility location, or line-haul mode of park-and-ride users. New, higher-fee, daily reserved spaces were popular substitutes for monthly reserved spaces. The increased availability of parking spaces shifted arrival times later in the morning at the two stations. Even with user fees, for most trips to regional central business districts the overall cost of using a park-and-ride facility and BART still remained well below the cost of the trip made by automobile only. Overall BART ridership and ridership at those stations where new fees were introduced, remained unchanged.