Permeability gives all users of the interchange zone more choices of route when making journeys.
Interchange zones can be major points of arrival as well as gateways to the public transport network. At a successful interchange zone, it should be easy for passengers to orientate themselves, move through the space and get to their destination.
Interchange zones should be permeable, connecting seamlessly with their surrounding area. Creating a permeable space requires the removal of physical and perceptual barriers to movement in, out and through, improving circulation and providing clear sight lines to destinations both within and immediately outside the interchange zone.
Many interchange facilities have multiple entry and exit points, in some cases these may also be routes through the interchange facility moving from one place to another.
In these cases, consideration should be given to how passengers may wish to use the space to make connections and how technology (such as smart cards) can support those movements while ensuring that the operation of the interchange is not jeopardised by allowing use as a public thoroughfare.
In the design of the interchange zone and its integration into the wider urban fabric, it is particularly important to ensure that issues of severance and barriers from transport functions are mitigated or removed altogether, through intelligent and best practice design.
Improving the public realm around an interchange zone can improve visibility and legibility, reduce fears for personal safety, facilitate better access and help increase passenger numbers.
Entrances should be located to minimise circuitous routes simplify access and minimise the perceived penalty of public transport use.