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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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


Park-and-ride lots are important support facilities for transit and ride-sharing 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 car-poolers. Most drove alone to the park-and-ride lot and made long trips to work, 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.

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