TRAIN STATION PASSENGER FLOW STUDY
Janice P. Li Booz-Allen & Hamilton Three Gateway Center, Suite 1625 Newark, NJ 07102, U.S.A.
With the increasing demand for public transportation due to congested highways, trains have become one of the most viable alternatives, especially for daily commuting. While transit agencies are excited with the increasing ridership, they are also challenged with a higher volume of passenger flow and longer queuing lines at the existing stations. To improve the current situation and plan for the future, transit agencies are using simulation tools to help evaluate station design, queue management, fare equipment design and fare policy impacts. 1
fimction of fare structures, fare collection policies, station layout, equipment design, operating policies and system capacity. Agency staffs often are available only at major terminal stations and their job fimctions are assisting passengers at information booth, selling train tickets, and guarding the areas. In the past, transit agencies have used simulation to help addressed the following train station passenger flow related issues: Fare Equipment Type Mix Optimization - There are various types of fare equipment; such as ticket vending machines, ticket collecting turnstiles, exit only turnstiles and cash dispensing turnstiles. Agencies need to determine an optimal combination of these equipment. An example would be determining the numbers of bidirectional versus one-way fare gates to mitigate the impediments between passengers entering and exiting the various machines at the same time. Fare Policy Change - When there is a proposed fare increase or introduction of a new ticket type, it often increases the time spent purchasing a ticket with cash from a ticket vending machines. Since a passenger may need to put more bill(s) or coin(s) into a machine. Therefore, agencies may need to install additional machines or relocate currently underutilized machines to areas with higher projected traffic volume. Fare Equipment Performance - Agencies use simulation for assessment of fare equipment performance criteria. This is often done during procurement of new fare equipment as there is need to determine equipment transaction speed and user interface screen numbers. These factors drive the amount of time a passenger would spend at the machine. Train Scheduling - Many train stations offer transfers between rail lines. The transfer often required passenger to go through fare gates and escalators/stairs. To determine the passenger arrival rates and walking patterns at stairways,
When traveling by train, the station is the first and last encounter a passenger experiences. Every passenger must access the station before boarding the train and must exit the station upon amval at the final destination. While at the station, a passenger often travels on escalators or stairs, purchases a ticket, and goes through the fare collection gates before and after a train ride. For transit agencies, it is important to include all these encounters into the evaluation of total passenger travel times when developing service improvements at the stations With increasing highway traffic in many metropolitan cities, more commuters are taking the trains to work. Beside the need to evaluate station capacity to accommodate the weekday peak period ridership, agencies are also evaluating new fare collection equipment to replace aging units. With a complex environment, agencies are using simulation to optimize operations and service quality. 2
In light of each transit agency having its own operating policies and each train station having a unique design and layout, agencies share similar challenges in handling passenger flow. Figure 1 showed a general passenger flow chart with listing of key station activities and their...