How does ‘park and ride’ perform? An evaluation using longitudinal data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - bus, mode - park and ride, mode - rail, ridership - old people, ridership - young people, policy - congestion, policy - parking, land use - urban density, land use - impacts


Park and ride lots, Utilization rate, Longitudinal evaluation, Panel tobit model, Transit development, Policy intervention


The efficiency of park and ride (PnR) lots has not been investigated in serious depth in prior literature. This study examines the effect of various factors on the utilization rate of PnR lots with panel Tobit models. The examined factors consist of land use features, roadway design features, transit ridership, sociodemographic attributes, travel characteristics, policy tools, gasoline prices, and weather conditions. The data is drawn from PnR lots in King County, Washington. Results show that: (1) degree of mixed land use, road density, employment density, percentages of people aged between 18 and 34 and people over 65, the percentage of white people, the percentage of poor people, and transit ridership are positively associated with the utilization rate of PnR lots; (2) the percentage of drive lanes in total roadway miles, the percentage of males, and the mode share percentage of driving are negatively correlated with the utilization rate of PnR lots; (3) various policy interventions, including countermeasures for preserving transit after the economic recession, congestion reduction charge, and bus-rail integration, are all positively correlated with the utilization rate of PnR lots. Contextualized to US cities, PnR is a practical way to attract bus riders, especially young adults, senior citizens, and low-income people to public transit. Dense urban development is encouraged for the full utilization of PnR lots. Additionally, the integration between bus and rail appears to be an effective policy tool to promote PnR utilization.


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


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