Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Transit Tuesday: Airport Intermodal

Transit Tuesday is a weekly feature or profile on transit.

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Many people will be taking transit to the airport this week, so let’s take a look at airport-transit intermodal stations.

In 1968, Cleveland was the first American city to open a subway station directly inside an airport terminal. Passengers could board a Red Line train at Hopkins and ride downtown with one seat. Since then, many cities’ rail systems have been extended to the airport.

Cities with transit stations directly inside or adjacent to airport terminals are:
• Cleveland – Hopkins Airport, Red Line, 1968
• Washington – National Airport, Metro, 1977
• Chicago – O’Hare Airport, CTA L, 1984
• Philadelphia – PHL Airport, SEPTA Regional Rail, 1985
• Atlanta – Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, MARTA, 1988
• Los Angeles – Bob Hope Airport, Metrolink/Amtrak, 1992
• South Bend - SBN Airport, South Shore Line, 1992
• Chicago – Midway Airport, CTA L, 1993
• St. Louis – Lambert Airport, MetroLink, 1994
• Baltimore – BWI Airport, MTA Light Rail, 1997
• Portland – PDX Airport, MAX, 2001
• San Francisco – SFO Airport, BART, 2003
• Minneapolis – MSP Airport, Hiawatha Line, 2004
• Seattle – SeaTac Airport, Link, 2009 (UC)
• Providence – TF Green Airport, MBTA Commuter Rail, 2010 (UC)

Other cities have brought people mover systems from airports out to transit. Newark extended their airport people mover to a new station on the Northeast Corridor in 2001, where passengers can transfer to Amtrak and NJT Commuter Rail. Several cities have people mover connections between transit and airports in planning, including Dallas' Love Field and Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport.
• Newark – Liberty Airport, AirTrain, 2001
• New York – JFK Airport, AirTrain, 2003
Still other places use shuttles or express buses to make the link between the train and the plane. Usually this is to save the expense of bringing transit right to the airport's door. But sometimes, stops are added to existing transit services close to airport terminals, as was the case with the Amtrak stop near BWI, added in 1980. One early example is the MBTA Airport Blue Line stop in Boston, which opened in 1952 with shuttles connecting the terminal and the station. Many other examples exist, but we won't discuss them today.

1 comment:

Rob Pitingolo said...

Thanks for putting this list together. I've always wondered exactly how many airport transit connections exist in the U.S.