12 February 2017

MTI - Good station-area planning is critical for the successful operation of a high-speed rail station

MTI Report 12-75 was edited by Aggie Writing Services.

Lessons learned from the European experience 

San José, Calif., February 8, 2017 —Good station-area planning is an important prerequisite for the successful operation of a high-speed rail (HSR) station; it can trigger opportunities for economic development in the station-area and station-city. What is less clear, however, is what constitutes good station-area planning. 

Researchers at the Mineta Transportation Institute recently completed a comparative analysis of HSR station development in order to provide valuable lessons for the California HSR system, in general, and the San José, California, Diridon Station, in particular. A Comparative Analysis of High-Speed Rail Station Developing into Destination and Multi-Use Facilities: The Case of San José Diridon identifies the elements of good station-area planning, documents what experts consider as challenges and opportunities, and extracts recommendations to improve future HSR station-area development.

The team, led by Dr. Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, reviewed literature on planning intermodal transit facilities, completed an in-depth assessment of current planning efforts for Diridon Station—including site visits and interviews with planners and urban designers—and conducted in-depth case studies of five European HSR stations: Lille and Lyon, France; Utrecht and Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and, Turin, Italy.

According to Loukaitou-Sideris, “there are a number of attributes that characterize successful HSR station-area planning.” These include:
  • Strong spatial connectivity, defined as the seamless integration of the station with its surroundings;
  • Strong intermodal connectivity, defined as the seamless integration of different transportation modes at the station, and convenient access and transition from one mode to the other; and
  • Strong operational connectivity, defined as good project governance, and coordination and collaboration among the public and private sector.
Specific recommendations for San José Diridon Station focus on station design and services, intermodal connectivity—including connections to nearby Mineta San José International Airport—as well as operational connectivity such as the development of a Joint Powers Authority.
The report is available for free download from http://transweb.sjsu.edu/project/1502.html

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, PhD is a professor of urban planning and associate dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Deike Peters, PhD is an assistant professor of environmental planning and practice at Soka University of America. Paige Colton is a graduate student in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program at UCLA. Eric Eidlin is a transportation planner and Sustainability Lead with the Federal Transit Administration.

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducts research, education, and information transfer programs regarding surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. Congress established MTI in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. MTI won national re-designation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2012. The Institute is funded through the US Department of Transportation, the US Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI, the lead institute for the nine-university Mineta National Transit Research Consortium, is affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business. Visit transweb.sjsu.edu


Hilary Nixon, Ph.D.
MTI Director of Research and Technology Transfer
408.924.7564 | hilary.nixon@sjsu.edu

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