Intermodal transit hubs

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Intermodal transit hubs are locations where different methods of travel are centralized to allow for easier transportation. To that end, these hubs may combine regional and local transit services. They may also be a junction point for different types of transportation.

This PolicyAtlas entry is the result of the work of the [New Leaders Council]



Conceptual Example

Smalltown is a center for jobs in a rural area. Nearly everyone who works in Smalltown commutes to town via his/her personal vehicle. To deal with the patterns of congestion and scarce parking space, Smalltown develops a hub where the region's bus, rail, and bicycle-share systems meet with a large parking area. This mitigates traffic in town and makes the operation of buses and rail more financially sound.

Specific Example

Union Station in Washington, D.C., serves as an intermodal hub for its region. Its train station serves commuter rail and regional service. The mass rail transportation system, Metro, runs a station to the location. Various bus lines--both intracity and intercity--stop at Union Station. There is a lane for taxi cab pickup and dropoff. And finally, the city's bicycle-share program has a dock of bicycles at the station.



Tradeoffs of implementing this policy may include:

  1. Requires either existing infrastructure or a large investment in mass transit infrastructure
  2. Requires automobile parking infrastructure at hub to accommodate increased usage of the hub
  3. Dedicating the use of land for a transit hub that may otherwise serve another purpose
  4. Risk of commuting delays when there are logistical failures at hub
Compatibility Assessment

Compatibility Assessment.png

If answered yes, the following questions indicate superior conditions under which the policy is more likely to be appropriate:

  1. Does this place (city/town) host multiple options for commuters and residents?
  2. Is this location the site of large-scale commuting?
  3. Does this place suffer from road congestion at rush hour?
  4. Does this place have existing rail, bus, car-share, or bicycle-share infrastructure?
  5. Do non-commuting travelers commonly pass through location this place?


Assuming that a jurisdiction has decided to adopt the policy, the following questions will need to be answered when determining how to implement this policy:

  1. What modes of transportation will be included?
    1. Think about changing trends in transportation and allow for policy shifts that accommodate changing demand
      1. I.e., if car- or bicycle-sharing becomes popular, it should be easy to incorporate those into the transit hub
  2. Will the government subsidize certain types of transportation to encourage their use?
  3. How will the government pay for expansion of the existing transit infrastructure?
  4. Who will pay for any capital expenses?
    1. This may fall on residents beyond a city's limits, for example if commuters come from out of town
    2. Consider a regional authority that operates across existing government boundaries














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