Relationship of Walk Access Distance to Rapid Rail Transit Stations with Personal characteristics and station context

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, mode - rail, mode - pedestrian, place - asia, infrastructure - station


Rapid rail transit, walk access distance, pedestrian catchment area, personal characteristics, station context, ordinary least squares regression


This paper explores the relationship of walk access distance to rapid rail transit (RRT) stations with personal characteristics and station context, specifically in regard to an operated RRT system in the city of Nanjing, China. Both descriptive analysis and regression analysis on the commuter survey are conducted to reveal the association. Descriptive analysis indicates that the walk access distance in the morning peak is longer than that in the peak afternoon. Young commuters walk farther to access to RRT stations than the children and the old people. The walk access distance is decreasing with the increase in the household income. Regression analysis, in particular, on the association between walk access distance and station context suggests that commuters walk farther to reach a terminal station but walk shorter to arrive at a transfer station than a typical station. The walk access distance to an elevated station is longer than that to an underground station, and an around 100 m distance premium does seem to exist. In addition, the radius of the pedestrian catchment area (PCA) of an underground RRT station is about 200–300 m longer than the PCA of bus rapid transit station. Implications of the present study include flexible rail transit station's PCA definitions in estimating URT ridership at the station level, optimizing the house location and price premium analysis around URT stations, and identifying the opportunities for transit-oriented development in the PCA of rail stations.