D C. Wilcock

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, policy - parking, organisation - management, organisation - governance, mode - rail, mode - car


United States, Railroad stations, Railroad commuter service, Passenger platforms, Partnerships, Parking places, Parking facilities, Parking areas, Ownership, Management, Commuter rail, Car parks, Canada


The station governance and parking practices of 19 commuter rail services in the United States and Canada are summarized. Unique or innovative approaches to address ownership and management issues are described. Unlike most urban transit systems, commuter rail authorities often do not control stations or parking. Wide-ranging practices exist, from outright facility ownership and control by the authority to no ownership or control. Many agencies and the private sector, including freight railroads with several services, are involved in ownership and management. Older, more established systems have the most complex ownership arrangements and operating practices. The authority, municipalities, and private sector of many systems are involved in the ownership and management of station buildings and parking facilities. Many authorities continue to provide ticket agents at stations, and a fee is typically charged for parking, which is often collected by the municipality. Passenger platforms are generally owned and maintained by the authority. Newer commuter rail services have less complex practices. Sometimes the authority is not involved with the station building or parking, although it typically owns and maintains the platforms. Many newer services also use technology more extensively, including ticket vending machines, to reduce the need for station personnel. Parking at the newer systems is generally provided free of charge, although various ownership and operating arrangements exist. Several systems have developed innovative approaches to address parking capacity issues. Partnerships with municipal governments, private companies, and community organizations to share parking are also used to reduce agency expenditures for new parking.