We are traveling in unprecedented numbers. According to U.S. Department of Transportation
statistics, in 2017 airlines carried an all-time-high number of passengers. Amtrak and Via Rail Canada
also have reported record ridership, while subway systems in cities like New York, Washington, D.C.,
and Toronto are filled to capacity.
At the same time, passengers are expecting more from these transportation stations. With increased
security leading to longer pre-journey stays, and municipalities sometimes cutting subsidies to
airports and train stations (even as ridership increases), more transit hubs are looking to expand retail
and food offerings. Customers today also expect gates, concourses, and ticket counters to possess
more welcoming atmospheres with hospitality-like interiors. And, with all that investment, cities
are looking to transit hubs as symbols of civic ambition, be it through soaring architecture or evocations
of local landscapes.
There is no single formula for a successful transit hub, but a coast-to-coast journey through North America’s
new and renovated airports and rail stations shows a connecting thread of imagination and expansion.
Con A new generation of transit hubs is meeting unprecedented demand with dynamic interior spaces, enticing us to relax, shop, and dine, as well as travel
i+D — March/April 2018 26
By Brian Libby