A transit planner in a suburban agency asks an eternal question:
Do you have any examples of best practices in transit service in large business parks? I am looking for some creative solution, such as a transit to vanpool connection, or a site redesign for accessibility.
If you have an opportunity, please share some examples, thoughts, etc.…
As with so many transit issues, the real answers start by understanding the geometry and math problem that business parks present.
- Disincentives to driving are very low, due to abundant parking and site plans designed on the assumption that all important visitors are motorists.
- Business parks often want long-haul peak commute service, usually one way, which is massively expensive for the transit agency in both staff time (short shifts, long deadheads to return to origin) and fleet requirement.
- Street and development patterns at business parks tend to be hostile to fixed route service because either (a) fixed routes must meander in ways that deter through riders or (b) people must walk long distances from the straight path of a fixed route, usually through a pedestrian-hostile environment.
- The pedestrian-hostility of the business park environment consists largely of (a) buildings far from the street, forcing long walks across parking lots, and (b) buildings facing fast and wide streets often at points where is no safe way to cross. Most cost-effective transit runs two way on major streets, stopping on the opposite sides in the two directions, so every round trip requires crossing the street either morning or evening. If you can’t cross the street safely you don’t have effective service.