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Research Project "Design and Market Potential of Park & Ride- and Bike & Ride-Systems" (ASTRA2007/009)

Switzerland Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Motorised individual transport in urban areas is coming ever closer to its capacity limits, while the externalities that arise from its use are continually increasing. The last mile distribution task of Public transport is also reaching its limits. By means of an intermodal offer, the advantages of the different transport systems are combined: For example, in Park and Ride (P+R) schemes, the car is used for the last mile distribution. For transportation on high-demand routes, public transportation is used, taking advantage of its high capacity. Until recently, P+R was the subject of intense policy discussions, which led to a reduction in the construction of such facilities. Today, a more pragmatic view is required. It is generally agreed that as many driven kilometres as possible should be transferred to public transport. By implementing P+R facilities, it is possible to change the use of partially under-utilised railway stations, to a commercially oriented operation.

With the implementation of Bike and Ride (B+R) facilities, mainly the access times to public transport stations are shortened, when compared to walking. Another alternative is that people ride their bicycle directly to rail stations where they can transfer to a fast and efficient public transportation system. The catchment area of a public transport stop/station is therefore extended.

In some Cantons, P+R concepts were recently developed. These concerned mostly medium-term implementation proposals, or locations for the development of new P+R facilities, which should ideally be kept free for an eventual development later on. At the same time, it is acknowledged that funds to finance these projects tend to be reduced. This study aimed to identify and quantify the different interrelationships of the combined transport systems P+R and B+R. From the results, strategic and planning recommendations are derived that aim to further develop combined mobility.


The particular focus of the study was to provide insights into the following outcomes:

  • Today’s rearrangement effects (analysis of different types of facilities);
  • Competition with the last-mile distribution of public transport;
  • Impact on energy consumption and emissions;
  • Economical aspects of P+R- and B+R facilities.

Hypotheses on the demand structure and the types of action should be drawn up for different types of installations. This can be verified respectively falsified due to the observed behaviour and the motives inquired. Surveys are carried out in the Zurich area and in a region selected for comparison. The results are extrapolated to the whole of Switzerland, so that a nation-wide impact and potential assessment can be carried out.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


Combined mobility is mainly used for the regular commute to work of for study/training purposes. The results obtained in Switzerland are comparable to the experiences of other countries in this area, e.g. USA, The Netherlands. Moreover, most public transport users have some sort of season card, such as a General Abonnement (GA), Reduction card (HT), or Network Pass.

Users of combined mobility consciously choose this alternative over other travel options. The main elements contributing to the success of combined mobility are the lack of parking possibilities at the destination area and the presence of a high quality, attractive public transport offer at the origin and destination of the intended trip. P+R and B+R facilities are mostly used by people wanting to improve their overall quality of travel, and less by those persons who have inconvenient public transport feeder services and connections.

Another important criteria to use P+R facilities are the travel times by public transport compared to those by private vehicles. The success of a P+R facility depends not only on its size and on the quality of public transport services at the station (timetable, frequency, travel times).

It will also be ultimately determined by the integral strategies that take into account the quality of the entire multimodal travel chain. At the same time, the attractiveness of driving into the urban cores should be noticeably reduced with adequate measures (in particular with restrictive parking policies).

The construction of new P+R facilities in the immediate outskirts of urban areas should be avoided wherever possible, because for such facilities travellers drive most of the way and use public transport only for short distances (e.g. Train station Zurich Altstetten). Measures which promote the use of B+R facilities should aim to provide a sufficient number of attractive and safe storing places for bicycles. Although security concerns remain when leaving a bicycle at a station, the Dutch experience has shown that lockable boxes for bicycles in urban areas are rather underused. This is due to the relatively high fees in comparison with the value of the bicycle used to commute. Secure parking facilities should be located within 200 m of a station access and be quite visible from busy areas, to reduce the opportunity for theft and vandalism. Because students constitute an important part of B+R users, the provision of secure parking facilities should be examined carefully. A higher level of security woul

Policy implications

Support of sustainable transport mode - public transport.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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