Reduced dwell times resulting from train–platform improvements: the costs and benefits of improving passenger accessibility to metro trains

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - capital costs, economics - operating costs, mode - subway/metro, place - europe


metro, station dwell time, passenger service time, accessibility, transit capacity, passenger flow


This paper examines whether a dwell time reduction on a high-intensity metro service, as a result of a series of accessibility enhancements, can contribute to an increased level of service and accessible public transport for passengers together with a reduction in costs for the operator. Actual train operation data were collected by on-site observations and from London Underground Ltd. A simple simulation is built to represent the effect on the overall cycle times of trains if certain parameters (e.g. dwell time) are changed. Four models are developed, concerning: (1) step height between train and platform, (2) an assumption of passenger service time to be no longer than 20 s, (3) door width and (4) the combination of step height and door width. From the application of the models it appears that the fourth model provides the highest reduction in dwell time and diminishes the overall cycle times of trains. However, it is the most expensive to implement as it requires work to raise platforms and the purchase of new rolling stock.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.