What's The Value of Airport Rail Stations?

Focus Area



Air Quality, Environmental Process






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

There has been a great deal of interest in building airport stations on rail public transportation (heavy and light rail as well as intercity passenger rail). This study would look at 4 to 8 of the recently built connections and analyze their value to the airport and the transit system. Questions to be looked at include: 1. How did the rail station change the mode share for access to and from the airport? 2. Who are the predominant users of the airport rail stations? (Generally thought to be employees more than air travelers.) 3. How did the airport rail stations affect ridership on the rail lines? 4. What other benefits do airport rail stations bring to airports such as a reduced need to construct structured parking? 5. How cost effective are the airport rail stations? Likely Tasks: 1. Identification of 4 to 8 airport rail stations constructed over the last 15 to 20 years. 2. Identification of costs for the rail station construction and funding sources. 3. Gathering of airport rail station ridership data and mode share information for each airport. 4. Review of changes in air service to the airports opening new airport rail stations and review of growth in air travel at these airports. 5. Gathering of ridership data for the selected rail transit systems or specific routes serving airport stations. 6. Analysis of this data.

Urgency and Payoff

There is not great urgency but many rail systems continue to push the value of airport rail stations and airport access. This report can help describe how valuable these stations may or may not be to both airports and rail system operators. Washington, DC, Dallas, Orlando and other cities are engaged in rail access projects.

Suggested By

Steve Strauss DC Dept. of Transportation 202-671-1357

[email protected]