Business case for park & ride facilities

According to report “The Transport Business Cases” of the UK Department of Transport, business cases for different modes of transport or funding streams have their own particular set of circumstances and demands for detail, which can make the underlying process of decision-making opaque. To ensure decision-makers receive the right information from which to draw their conclusions, all investment decisions are required to follow the same high-level process. This allows for objective comparisons of proposals for investment within and between projects and modes.

The landowner investigates the most appropriate business case for constructing or operating (or only operating) Park and Ride (P&R) facilities near or at the interchange. The facilities can be managed in a number of different ways:

    1. Management by the transport authority (Montpellier TaM, Stuttgart VVS) This can facilitate integration with other modes (public transport, bicycle);
    2. Management by a mixed public-private partnership (Munich Park&Ride GmbH, Geneva Fondation des Parkings);
    3. Sub-contraction to a private entity (State of Niedersachsen, Germany)

A demand analysis should be carried out. However, predicting the demand for spaces using a theoretcial approach is very difficult. It depends on a number of different factors, including catchment area and willingness to change to public transport.

P&R should intensify the use of public transport and minimise the traffic volume in the inner city: • No P&R terminals within the main circular road • P&R should be located as close as possible to the home of the user • Small and middle-sized P&R terminals (up to 300 – 400 spaces) for regional demand • 2 large terminals at the city boundary for national demand

The base for parking fees should be the distance to the city centre, “the closer to the centre, the higher the fees”. In this way, the environmental result of P&R is improved, because the fees prompt users to switch earlier to public transport. The parking fees also make a contribution towards the running costs and hence reduce the financial burden for municipalities.


NODES strategic objectiveContribution
Enhance accessibility and integration ++
Enhance intermodality ++
Enhance liveability +
Increase safety and security conditions +
Increase economic viability and costs efficiency +
Stimulate local economy +
Increase environmental efficiency +
Increase energy efficiency +

Good practice

Example of a) Montpellier (TaM)

At the end of the 1980s, Montpellier Agglomération asked the semi-public company, TaM, which operates the bus-tram network, to become strongly involved in parking in the Montpellier region. TaM’s involvement in parking is a strategic tool for developing public transport use. The scope of TaM’s work covers the construction of new franchise car parks in the city centre, the public service delegation of older car parks and maintenance of the city’s 740 parking meters. Overall, TaM manages 3,600 parking spaces at 12 P&R sites.

Example of b) Munich (Park & Ride GmbH)

Munich Park & Ride GmbH was founded in 1992, with the initial target of managing P+R in and outside Munich. The parties involved are the following:

Shareholder: • Capital City of Munich

Advisory commission: • ADAC Südbayern (German automobile club) • ADFC Landesverband Bayern (German bicycle club) • Handwerkskammer (Chamber of Trade) • Industrie- und Handelskammer (Chambers of industry and commerce) • Einzelhandelsverband (Association of Retailers) • MVV GmbH (central management organisation for public transport in the Greater Munich Area) • SWM GmbH (public utilities organising underground, tram, bus in Munich)


Business fields include:

  • Car parking: 37 P&R car parks (11,400 spaces in and around Munich, 5 residential garages, 7 city car parks in Munich
  • Bicycle parking: 3 multi-storey bike parks
  • Bus parking: 2 bus terminals on the outskirts of Munich

The decision to build or to enlarge a P&R-terminal is typically a joint-decision made by the following stakeholders:

  • Municipality
  • German railway (Deutsche Bahn)
  • Responsible authority for public funds (for Greater Munich: government of Upper Bavaria)
  • MVV (public transport authority)

Parking demand in close proximity to railway stations as a (political) catalyst for building new P+R terminals or enlarging existing ones.

The demand analysis is carried out by the Department of Urban Planning and Building Regulations (Planungsreferat) for Munich, and by MVV for the surroundings. The final decision is made by the Munich city council.

The P+R facilities are funded by:

  • the free state of Bavaria
  • Stellplatzablösemittel
  • where applicable, capital resources from the municipalities

Built by:

  • the German Railway
  • the Municipalities / City of Munich
  • a third party

Operated by:

  • Municipalities
  • P&R Park & Ride GmbH



Application in NODES sites – Business case for the operation of 4 Park & Ride Stations in Athens – (Application transferable atThessaloniki Mikra interchange)

Interchanges and parking spaces, designed to service the passengers of the Metro system, are constructed by Attiko Metro SA,. Attiko Metro SA was established by act of parliament in 1991 as a legal entity under private law in the form of a “limited company”, with the Greek State as its sole shareholder. Based on the law above, the Doukissis Plakentias, Halandri, Sygrou-Fix, Nomismatokopio Interchanges were constructed at the Metro Stations with public funding. At the same interchanges, Park and Ride stations operate with different opening hours and fees. The interchanges have been assigned from Attiko Metro SA to Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) for use and operation, with the Park & Rides assigned to Urban Rail Transport S.A. (STASY). STASY S.A was founded in 2011 as a joint-venture by the three rail companies that existed up until that point: AMEL S.A (metro system operation), ISAP S.A (urban rail), and TRAM S.A. (tramway) and is a subsidiary company of OASA. The awarding procedures for the operation and management of the Park & Ride facilities run by STASY are open calls for tenders. The successful bidder is the one with the lowest bid. The call of tenders sets out the maximum value of the bids accepted and the specific criteria that have to be fulfilled by the bidders. The final contractor operates the P&R stations with its own personnel for the specific amount set in the contract. It then returns the revenues to STASY. Following that, STASY does not operate the P&R stations as auch, but bears the maintenance costs of all equipment and systems, including consumables. The parking charges are set by STASY alone.

Contract awarding procedure / details of the contract

The last open call for tenders carried out by STASY for the operation and management of the P&R facilites of the Metro system in Athens included the following 4 stations, with a total capacity of 1909 parking spaces: 1. SYGROU-FIX Station, a controlled underground Parking Facility and Bus Transfer Station operating on a 24-hour basis. 2. HALANDRI Station, a controlled open-air parking facility. 3. NOMISMATOKOPIO Station, a controlled underground Parking Facility and Bus Transfer Station operating on a 24-hour basis. 4. AGIA MARINA Station, a controlled Parking Facility consisting of multiple floors and a Bus Transfer Station The duration of the contract was set at one year. Below are the main characteristics included in the call of tenders: – The technical characteristics of each station, including the equipment offered to the final contractor in each P& R station (Automated entrance / payment / exit system, Closed Circuit Television System (CCTV), etc.) – Description of the operational characteristics of each station, including opening hours, staffing requirements, the main duties of personnel and the minimum requirements of personnel employed by the final contractor. – The detailed obligations of the final contractor and STASY.

Below are the main disadvantages of the business case set out above for Park & Ride that was used in Athens: – In most stations there are high maintenance costs, which were not included in the costs estimate when designing the business case. As a result, STASY is struggling to bear all these costs. – Based on the existing contract, the operator of the P&R stations does not have any incentive to increase revenues, since the compensatory payment for operating the stations is fixed.


The business case for Park & Ride Stations followed in Athens is not considered to be very efficient in terms of economic sustainability. For this reason, in the case of Thessaloniki, and especially at the reference site of Mikra Interchange, it is proposed to adopt a business model that will take all the costs and revenues into account and will allocate the risks and incentives in a fair manner between the contractual parties.

Potential interchange performance improvement

An appropriately operated park and ride facility can increase the attractiveness of an interchange. ‘Appropriate operation’ means: a) smooth connection with the various types of public transport served at the interchange b) ensuring safety and security, both for users and for vehicles, and c) low rates for parking.


The cost of making a business that functions well case is considered low. It is considered relatively easy to develop a business case for P&R facilities. However, the difficulty lies in the fact that many different stakeholders are involved.

Other resources needed for use of the tool: demand estimates about the users of the interchange are usually needed, together with additional mobility profile information, such as origin-destination, trip length and duration.

Using the tool to indicate higher costs can lead to the distribution of costs between stakeholders. In most cases, the construction cost is carried by the landowner or the owner of the interchange.


Ashford Borough Council (2005) Park and Ride Study. A report that sets out the results of a study into the viability of a park and ride scheme for Ashford, including options for site location and design, potential usage and a draft business case analysis.                                                                           

CERTU (2010) Les parcs relais urbains. Etude bibliographique (FR)

Department for Transport, UK (2013) The Transport Business Cases.

Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations.  Available online in UITP library. Contact

Parking management and new mobility services key to increasing ridership for public transport operators (Montpellier). Available online in UITP library. Contact

P+R Park & Ride GmbH (2012) Park-and-Ride in Munich.