Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - australasia, infrastructure - station, policy - disability


New South Wales (NSW), lifts, easy access, disabled, mobility problems, elderly, wheelchair


The first passenger lift in the NSW rail network was introduced in 1991 at Lithgow station. By May 2010, 268 passenger lifts have been installed at one hundred stations in the CityRail network. In most cases, lifts have been introduced to provide ‘easy access’ for disabled or passengers with mobility problems.
This paper presents a four step methodology to forecast the usage of passenger lifts by passengers of different observed mobility such as passengers in wheelchairs or passengers with strollers or heavy luggage. The first step uses automatic lift ‘travel’ count data that records the number of times lifts move up or down. A forecasting model was developed that explained the number of times the lifts ‘travelled’ (moved) in terms of station entry and exit counts. The lift travel model also took into account the effect of the height of the lift and location of the lift defined as whether the lift connected the concourse and the platform or the station and the street.
The second step involved fieldworker observation surveys to determine average lift occupancy - the number of passengers carried per lift travel. A model was developed that expressed lift occupancy in relation to the number of lift travels per hour. The third step combined the travel and occupancy forecasts to calculate the number of passenger using lifts.
The fieldworkers also observed the profile of lift users which is used in the fourth step of the forecasting model. Lift users were categorised according to their observed mobility status such as: wheelchair passengers; passengers with strollers; passengers with heavy luggage; elderly/infirm; RailCorp staff; normal mobility etc. This data enabled lift patronage to be forecast by mobility category.