- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 11 Mar 2020
Design of Intermodal Passenger Terminal
At one terminal, complex vehicles arrive and depart while passengers interchange between the modes. Interchanges interconnect different transport modes that complement each other to accommodate a person’s journey from its origin to its destination. They are key public transport nodes. The function of the interchange is to reduce the distance between transport modes to facilitate multi-activities patterns.
The benefits of multimodal transport include time-saving, reduced waiting time, urban integration, reduced pollution, carbon emission, noise and congestions, and improvement of business operational models.
Multimodal passenger terminals can accommodate bus, rail, transit, taxi, automobile, ferry and aircraft modes. Mode integration can be achieved by methods such as coordinated schedules, joint use of services, and fare integration.Designing intermodal terminals is a multi-disciplinary task, the aim of which is to obtain maximum efficiency and enhance accessibility to all users.
Travel information and intermodal services are provided in all zones as well as in the facilities and retailing. The main design considerations are safety and security, transfer conditions, emergency planning, information, aesthetics, services and facilities, environmental quality, and comfort of waiting time.
The factors that influence the architecture of an interchange include; users, operators, third part deals with local impacts, governance and business models, mobility patterns, urban density and location of activities, technology, land use planning and social concerns.
- Less than 30,000 passengers/day.
- Between 30,000 and 120,000 passengers/day.
- More than 120,000 passengers/ day.
Modes of transport include:
- Intermodal terminal with buses as the dominant mode of transport.
- Intermodal terminal with rail as the dominant mode of transport.
- Two or more public transport modes or different lines of the same mode jointly.
 The physical components of intermodal terminals
The interchange will typically have three spatial zones:
- Access-egress zone - a zone in which links to the local area and access to transport modes are present.
- Facilities zones - a zone that comprises supporting services like retail shops, restaurants, ticketing, hotels etc.
- Arrival-departure - this caters for intermodal transfers.
 The access-egress zone
This zone should provide facilities and services for users arriving and leaving the terminal. Services and facilities in this zone are those that aid safe, efficient movement in and out of the terminal enhancing convenient access, signposting and way finding. Outside waiting areas should be provided with shelters for those waiting for public transport.
 The facilities and retail zone
This is a zone where travellers who have more time available to spend at the terminal such as tourists, can do shopping or eating while waiting for transfer. It also provides space for ticketing services and contains real time information.
 The transport/transfer zone
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
New editor covered facilities management, operations and construction in the US.
Exclusive log cabins on the North Antrim coastline.
Proactive forestry for strategic water management.
CIOB urges construction to share PPE with healthcare providers.
Why not write that article you've always meant to?
One of the seven man-made wonders of Arizona.
A more flexible approach is needed.
A quick step-by-step introduction to the BREEAM process.
First pioneered in the USA and then France.
The European BACS market has been showing signs of growth.
Free ICE publication for World Water Day.