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It seems it's just as easy to transport someone or something to any part of the ship as a transporter pad (at least TNG era). Other than maybe a place to welcome guests, it seems largely unnecessary (except perhaps particularly complex operations like removing that transporter space worm out of Barclay). Do the transporter room and pads have more power, or other benefit than transporting someone directly to their room/sickbay/bridge?

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  • Also you might want to have a look at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/66509/… since it mentions transporter pad efficiency.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 21:18
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    Even if transporter pads aren't strictly necessary, it still provides a designated "arrival and departure zone" for people planning to use transporters. Helps prevent one person from transporting into the same space in a given hallway where someone else is currently walking.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 0:46

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