In a true public transit system, trains and buses should connect seamlessly. Anyone who has transferred between Caltrain and buses knows that the transfer is rarely direct; it usually involves a circuitous path on foot, occasionally requiring an umbrella, followed by a slow bus ride around a bunch of convoluted islands that are often configured opposite to the bus' main direction of travel. Combine that with irregular timetables that are poorly adhered to, and what you've got is a time-wasting, ridership-killing mess of a connection.
It doesn't have to be this way, and the addition of passing tracks for the blended system is a perfect opportunity to rectify the situation with seamless transfer stations that:
- provide the shortest route from one vehicle to another
- allow each vehicle to pick up or drop off passengers without going out of its way
- provide shelter from the elements
- provide permeable access to pedestrian, bike, bus, and other road traffic
- enable coordinated clock-face schedules