BandA wrote:$2.65M Amtrak station with only 29 parking spaces? Does everybody else walk? Is there other parking or Amtrak passengers nearby?
A summary of the below boils down to:
- everyone who parks can use their car as a waiting room (as commuters do), and minimize their waiting with on-demand arrival and departure by car.
- stations, by contrast, are valued most highly as waiting rooms & pit stops--things most needed by people making non-car modal connections (walk, bike, kiss-and-ride, taxi, bus)
- Ergo, the payback of a new station is in being able to attract non-car riders for whom waiting is a key part of their trip, not as an amenity for people for whom SOV is already a good solution
- To the extent that a new station drives growth, it should/would preferentially drive it among car-free trip makers.
Seems to me that they have plenty of parking to support ridership growth:
1) Maybe they will retain parking at the current station (one block north) which looks like it can have 20 spots too While a guess, that'd be essentially a doubling.
2) Ridership is only 15,000 per year (both ways), which we might call 20 people per day, or 30 people per work day 
3) Those 30 look like they are 91% going to Chicago (92miles) and 5% going to St Louis (162 miles) , which is suggestive of day trips (one spot-day or less per trip with the lot max full at say, 2pm)
- and maybe good share of these Chicago day trips are entirely car-free trips (for many, if they did have a car, they''d drive the 92 miles. That they're taking the train at all may suggest that they don't have access to a car for the day)
4) The station has a WalkScore of 74, and downtown Pontiac is in the 80s, meaning the residential probably does walk places
5) Anyone coming out from Chicago to visit "the folks back home" would be Kiss-and-Ride
6) Some share of ridership, maybe 10 to 20% would be HOV (group travel)
7) A mix of day-trips and overnight trips might actually smooth things (with some demand peaking at noon and some at midnight)
8) Some of the longer trips would probably involve weekend parking, which is not in demand
9) As stated, Stations are important to people who cannot wait in their car. To the extent that the station drives growth, it'd tend to drive growth of riders who do not have a nice car to wait in.
Here's a draft swag for spots needed for 52 riders per workday (70% growth) at:
Spots - People
_0 - ? Any seniors who ride the hourly SHOW bus from local apartments (http://www.showbusonline.org/Pontiac.html#Schedule
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_0 - 5 people coming out from Chicago (walk or Kiss-and-ride or taxi)
_0 - 5 people walking/biking from nearby residence as super-commuters
_5 - 15 people day tripping to CHI or STL in groups of 2 or more*
30 - 25 SOV work commuters to Chicago (with 20% staying over an average of 1 night)
10 - 2 people on longer and multi-day trips (demanding 5 spot-days per trip)
45 spots for 52 people
If we scaled that down to 40 riders (30% work day growth), they'd demand 36 spots, so I'd say they're generally within striking distance. Throw in the fact that at least some multi-day trips will use weekend parking days (not the weekday-only we modeled above) and you shift a decent number of spot-days out of the weekday peak)
Those 25 SOVs to Chicago are the big wild card, but maybe they demand almost exactly 25 spots (not overnight trips)
* As group size increases (increasing parking-efficiency) trip size gets longer (decreasing parking efficiency), so this number is probably safe
15,000 arrives + departs /day = 7,500/365 = 20.5 or 7,500/262 = 28.5 from https://www.narprail.org/site/assets/files/2350/pon.pdf
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https://www.walkscore.com/score/711-w-w ... c-il-61764