A GIS-based planning approach to locating urban rail terminals

M. W. Horner, T. H. Grubesic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


This paper develops a flexible GIS-based methodology for evaluating the potential locations of terminal park-and-ride facilities along urban rail lines. The methodology differs from political-based approaches and traditional travel demand modeling in its use of an objective measure of accessibility to gage the suitability of a site. The methodology begins by constructing an index of derived demand for rail usage based on the local demographics. Principal component analysis (PCA) is used as a means of constructing an index of derived demand consistent with other passenger surveys. Next, trade areas of commutersheds are calculated for each candidate park-and-ride location based on realistic measures of accessibility and network based drive times, taking into account competition among candidates for riders. Following the analysis, the candidate locations and their commutersheds are delineated and visualized in the GIS environment. In summary, application of this method produces a site-specific suitability index that may be used to rank and compare potential park-and-ride locations. We illustrate how our approach fits within the context of the larger-scale corridor study as a complimentary means of refining the location of urban rail stations. The analysis uses the proposed rail system for Columbus Ohio as a case study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-77
Number of pages23
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Accessibility
  • Columbus ohio
  • Commutersheds
  • GIS
  • Park-and-rides
  • Urban rail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


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