Integrated Approaches to EV Charging Infrastructure and Transit System Planning

First and last mile accessibility can often be a challenge for transit riders, especially for suburban commuters. Park-and-ride (P&R) design facilitates transit uses, improves accessibility to stations, and improves systems services. Combining the use of electric vehicles (EV) and transit can further reduce reliance on petroleum vehicles, thereby reducing greenhouse emissions. Such a multi-modal trip also reduces the need for long-distance driving and thus promotes EV adoption. Existing applications of the integrated design of EV infrastructure and transit systems, however, are limited. Concerns can involve both EV charging infrastructure availability and existing P&R capacity, as well as financial resources and policy support.

Principal Investigator(s):

Ning Ai, PhD


Ning Ai, PhD
Junjun Zheng
Xiaochen Chen




The aim of this empirical study is to provide policy insights into integrating EV infrastructure development with transit systems. While the existing EV charging structure has often been driven by the private sector to facilitate EV adoption, this study promotes transit uses and EV adoption at the same time. With a focus on multi-modal trips, this study explores opportunities related to underutilized parking spots that are suitable for both EV charging and transit connections, either on site or in proximity to transit stations.


Distinct from the existing practice, this study takes into account both work trips and activity based trips (ABT), which involves multiple trip segments/purposes on commuting trips. In particular, large shopping centers are selected as a potential opportunity to provide additional capacity for weekday parking and EV charging. This allows for the combination of commuting and shopping trips to reduce total vehicle miles traveled.

Expected Results or Products:

To advocate for an active role of the public sector in the integrated EV-transit design, this study proposes a generic planning model for siting EV charging either on site or in proximity to transit stations. To implement the proposed planning process, this study develops a Suitability Index (SI) for EV charging station siting in connection to transit stations, discusses anticipated impacts of implementing the integrated EV-Transit programs, and quantifies the environmental impacts of anticipated travel behavior changes.

Through case studies, this project reviews the existing programs that integrate EV charging infrastructure with transit systems. Quantitatively, this study applies the proposed planning framework in the Chicago metropolitan region and derives the SI rating for commuter rail stations (for work trips) and shopping centers close to transit stops (for ABT trips). The top ten desirable P&R locations and the top ten ABT locations for EV public charging are identified. Lastly, environmental impacts in terms of carbon emissions are estimated and compared across various travel modes and trip scenarios (i.e., P&R and ABT). All data variables that are adopted in this study are from publicly accessible sources and thus can be adapted in other regions.


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Ning Ai
Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 South Peoria Street, Suite 340
Chicago, IL 60607
Voice: (312) 413-9786