Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Park and ride
Park and ride terminals are public transport stations that allow commuters to drive short distances in their personal automobiles to catch a ride on a bus or railroad system (usually classified as light rail or the heavier commuter rail). The car is left in a parking lot on the site over the course of the day, and is retrieved when the commuter returns from work. The transit routes from these terminals are often express routes, meaning that they have limited numbers of stops and may travel at higher speeds if the capability is available. Park and ride lots are generally located in the suburbs of metropolitan areas and on the outer edges of large cities. They allow passengers to avoid the stress of directly dealing with traffic congestion, and parking is often free or at least less expensive than what it costs to drive into and park in the city center.
Transit routes from these terminals often only take passengers in one direction in the morning (typically toward a central business district) and in the opposite direction in the evening. The number of trips available in the middle of the day is typically limited, but these attributes vary from region to region. It is often not allowed to park at these locations overnight.
Park and ride lots are meant to reduce traffic congestion and crowding of downtown parking lots by making it easier for people to take the bus or train into town. Sometimes, even these lots become too busy, and people sometimes organize to carpool to the station to combat crowding.
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