Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - australasia, operations - capacity, operations - crowding, planning - travel demand management


Demand management, demand modelling, demand elasticity, peak smoothing, peak period, crowding, mass transit capacity


Urban rail systems in the larger Australian capital cities have considerable demand variability, with peak demand, mainly associated with daily commutes in many cases straining system capacity and adversely impacting on service levels and traveller satisfaction. Infrastructure responses and capacity improvements are expensive and require significant procurement lead times. System planners and managers dealing with all major transport modes have long recognised demand management as an effective tool to deliver greater efficiencies in the operation of transport infrastructure and reduce the need to invest in expensive infrastructure solutions.
Literature dealing with policy and economic instruments to manage peak demand for rail and other relevant industries provides guidance for identifying best practices for possible consideration in commuter rail.
In the area of transit, peak demand management constitutes the utilisation of a number of instruments with the objective of influencing travellers to vary their travel patterns in order to achieve more efficient utilisation of system resources and return a higher level of travel utility (satisfaction) to the transit system users. Instruments include social /institutional communication campaigns, quality of service, fares and/or system access fees, parking availability and pricing at transport terminals, as well as feeder services.