Commuters prefer origin to destination transfers

The author discusses the patterns and challenges of commuter rail ridership in North America compared to Europe. They highlight the observation that rail riders are more likely to make the trip if the transfer is closer to their home than to their destination. This is relevant as rail reformers in America look for new markets for commuter rail to serve, particularly in suburban areas. The author explains how residential and job sprawl contribute to the reluctance of commuters to take the train with transfers. They also discuss how European commuter trains are more successful in attracting off-peak ridership and serving suburban job centers. The key difference lies in the proximity of job sites to train stations and the level of integration with urban transit networks. The author suggests that planners should focus on transit-oriented development, where suburban job sites are located within walking distance of train stations, to encourage higher ridership.

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