Concession for the use of space at interchanges

Larger interchanges can rent space for events, cultural activities or office activities. Smaller interchanges can also benefit from offering services and facilities to make them more attractive to users. Increasing numbers of interchanges are considered as places that can be used other than just as a place to interchange. Part of the space can be rented for temporary events, such as cultural events, or business meetings at designated places. These events can be open to the public, as well as for a small group of users (not necessarily travellers). And, of course, they can also make use of the available public transport services to access the event.

NODES strategic objectiveContribution
Enhance accessibility and integration +
Enhance intermodality 0
Enhance liveability ++
Increase safety and security conditions 0
Increase economic viability and costs efficiency +
Stimulate local economy +
Increase environmental efficiency 0
Increase energy efficiency 0

Good practice

The bus stop at Gare de Lyon in Paris combines several facilities for providing customers with a range of needs. It includes a mini retail space that can house ambulant traders: the aim over time is to animate this space throughout the day, with an offering suited to each period (coffee, snacks, juices, etc.).

An innovative business model should feature multiple operators and not be restricted to transport alone. Responsibilities should be shared between different players, meaning operations by different parties catering for additional functionalities. One example for such a business approach is the Gare de Lyon bus station in Paris. This bus interchange also offers flexible design that allows adaptations that respond to changing activities in the future. (see RATP Osmose project – Gare de Lyon pilot project)

“The EBSF bus station demonstrator has been considered a tool for creating new business models, based on new kinds and new levels of partnerships between cities or transport authorities, public space suppliers, including out­door furniture and advertising operators. The current bus shelter business model has enabled major developments in urban furniture during the last four decades. But it seems to be limited to offering amenities to highly innovative stations such as EBSF.” (EBSF)

In addition to its own marketing of large spaces at its interchanges, Netherlands Railways have a number of spaces available that are rented out to businesses, shops and catering outlets.

Potential interchange performance improvement

In cases were the rented space is used to provide additional services to travellers, it increases the overall value of the interchange for them. Operators have to be certain that the service provided makes a positive impact on the station’s image. Run-down, low-quality services will only decrease the performance of the interchange.

Rented space will also add to the financial performance and profitability of the interchange.


The renting of space at the interchange will create benefits in general. It may also be the case that closely monitoring and organising its rental services may incur some additional costs for the interchange operator.


European Bus System of the Future (EBSF)