Easy Ways to Boost Suburban Transit
Two tweaks can make transit more competitive in suburban areas, according to new research: park-and-ride lots and dedicated highway lanes.
For Streetsblog USA, Angie Schmitt reports on a study from the University of Minnesota's Accessibility Lab that measured access to jobs by car versus by public transit in the Twin Cities. It found that relatively small additions to the system—park-and-ride and dedicated lanes—could substantially improve transit's performance.
Park-and-ride lots improved residents' access to transit threefold, according to the study, while dedicated lanes lead to speedier commutes. "The combination of those elements increases the relative number of jobs available within an hour trip by transit about 19 percent compared to driving," Schmitt reports.
Three highways in the Twin Cities currently utilize dedicated lanes during rush hour, Schmitt reports. Implementing dedicated lanes across the region could "increase the number of jobs available to the average suburban resident who lives within a half-mile of a Park-and-Ride station by 13 percent."