Improving Access to Public Transportation Services and Facilities with Transit-Oriented Complete Streets

Part of every public transportation trip is as a pedestrian. Consequently, safe, convenient, and comfortable access to public transportation services requires adequate and appropriate pedestrian and, often, bicycle facilities. Yet, people must often cross dangerous, non-signalized, unmarked crossways on high-traffic streets and roads to reach transit stops and stations. Similarly, potential transit passengers are frequently at risk when attempting to reach new, high-speed transit services [such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and light rail] that are constructed near highway interchanges. Some communities, especially historically, underserved communities, often lack basic infrastructure for public transportation access and face conditions hostile to walking and bicycling. Improving access to public transportation has the potential to increase ridership and improve access to jobs, education, childcare, health care, and other critical community services. Extreme weather across the United States, including very high and very low temperatures, rain, and snow, has been exacerbated by climate change. Public transportation passengers need adequate shelters that provide protection so passengers are safe and comfortable throughout their trips. Access to shelters that increase passenger comfort has the potential to increase public transportation ridership and reduce one of the primary contributors to climate change, greenhouse gas from vehicles. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. While improvements have been made to mitigate some travel barriers, such as redesigning public transit vehicles and facilities and providing sidewalk curb cuts, there is a paucity of adequate infrastructure needed to fulfill the promise of the ADA. Many communities are making investments in transit-oriented Complete Streets that facilitate people-centered transportation options (e.g., services and facilities for public transportation, bicycles, shared micro-mobility modes, and pedestrians). Proven investments serve a variety of societal goals, such as safety, equity, economic vitality, public health, and environmental stewardship. However, these investments cannot be designed and implemented by public transportation agencies in isolation, but are made jointly by local, regional, and state partners and stakeholders, and require effective community engagement. Collaborating with partners and stakeholders with differing priorities and authorities is cumbersome and challenging. In the coming years, there may be several funding sources that public transportation agencies, communities, and states can use to fund infrastructure improvements. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which funds many types of infrastructure including transportation, stipulates that metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) must use 2.5 percent of their overall funding to develop and adopt Complete Streets policies, active transportation plans, transit access plans, transit-oriented development plans, or regional intercity rail plans. Similarly, states must reserve 2.5 percent of state planning and research funds for the same purposes. Communities in urban and suburban areas need to develop and leverage their infrastructure to provide improved access to public transportation. Research is needed to help communities pursue and achieve this goal. The objective of this research is to develop a practical resource for public transportation agencies, local jurisdictions, state departments of transportation, and other stakeholders to better connect people to public transportation services and facilities through transit-oriented Complete Streets in urban and suburban areas throughout the United States.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $125000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-11, Task 44

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20221018
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01789441
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-11, Task 44
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 25 2021 1:14PM