Influence of Platform Height, Door Width, and Fare Collection on Bus Dwell Time Laboratory Evidence for Santiago de Chile

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, planning - service improvement, operations - performance, mode - bus, place - south america


dwell times, wider doors, platform height, fare collection, dwell time factors


Dwell time is the time that a public transport vehicle remains stopped while transferring passengers. Dwell time depends on the number of boarding and alighting passengers plus other characteristics, such as platform height, door width, fare collection method, internal layout of the vehicle, and occupancy of the vehicle. Traditionally, dwell time has been described as a linear function of the number of passengers boarding and alighting. In this paper, results are presented of dwell time parameters obtained from real-scale experiments made at the Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory, University College London. Three variables were controlled: platform height (0, 150, and 300 mm), door width (800 and 1,600 mm), and fare collection method (prepayment outside the vehicle and payment with an electronic card at the entrance of the vehicle). For each value of the variables mentioned above, between 15 and 20 runs were recorded on videotape with four cameras and different views. In total, 300 records of boarding and alighting processes were obtained. Some results indicate that door width has more influence than platform height. For example, it was found that a wider door can reduce the average alighting time by almost 40%, regardless of platform height, and can reduce the average boarding time by 20%. However, for the same door width, a lower platform reduces the average alighting time by only 1% to 9%. More results and analysis are reported in this paper.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by TRB, copyright remains with them.