/ MOBILITY & TECH
Mobility Hubs: Development, Use, and Purpose By L. Dennis Burns, CAPP, and Leslie Tabor
S THE UNIVERSES OF PARKING AND MOBILITY CONTINUE to merge together, one
of the more interesting concepts to emerge is the development of mobility hubs.
Our friends at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI) in Vancouver, Canada, describe mobility hubs as “transportation terminals, such as bus and train stations, and ferry terminals, designed to integrate diverse travel options, including walking, cycling, taxi, ride-hailing, ride-sharing, car-sharing, bike-sharing, local delivery services, and public transit, with travel and tourist information, and other support services (restaurants, shops, hostels, and hotels) in order to facilitate efficient transportation. They support and are supported by transit-oriented development.” Of course, the recent phenomenon of personal mobility devices (electric scooters and similar devices) should be added to this list, along with parking and other amenities such as day care that provide added value to users. Although the largest and most comprehensive mobility hubs tend to occur in large cities, they can also be useful at campuses, resorts, and smaller communities, where better coordination between modes can significantly improve non-automobile travel options.
Developing Mobility Hubs Mobility hubs are generally developed by government agencies responsible for transportation infrastructure. They often involve incremental improvements to existing transportation terminals. VTPI notes that from a transportation equity perspective, mobility hubs help by improving the connections between modes. Mobility hubs can significantly improve people’s ability to travel without automobiles, helping increase affordability and basic mobility for non-drivers. One of the best resources on this topic comes from Metrolinx, an agency of the Ontario government that published “Mobility Hub Guidelines for the Greater To10 PARKING & MOBILITY / DECEMBER 2019 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
ronto and Hamilton Area.” Metrolinx outlines nine key mobility hub objectives that cover three overarching goals: seamless mobility, place-making, and successful implementation. The objectives are: ■ Seamless integration of modes. ■ Safe and efficient movement of people with high levels of pedestrian priority. ■ A well-designed transit station for a high-quality user experience. ■ Strategic parking management. ■ A vibrant, mixed-use environment with higher land use intensity. ■ An attractive public realm. ■ A minimized ecological footprint. ■ Effective partnerships and incentives for increased public and private investment. ■ Flexible planning to accommodate growth and change. Metrolinx describes their five key takeaways: ■ Mobility hubs are a balance between transportation and placemaking functions. ■ Mobility hubs are not just (re)development of transit stations but creation of opportunities for live, work, and play. ■ Mobility hubs provide a high-quality user experience, promoting the use of public transit. ■ Mobility hubs require a strong relationship between land use and transportation decision-making. ■ Mobility hubs require stakeholder engagement at every step.
A Reader’s Guide Another good mobility hub resource is “Mobility Hubs Reader’s Guide” published by the Urban Design Studio