Analysis of Metro ridership at station level and station-to-station level in Nanjing: an approach based on direct demand models

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - subway/metro, mode - bus, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, infrastructure - station, ridership - behaviour, ridership - modelling


Metro ridership, Station level, Station-to-station level, Direct demand models, Land use, Intermodal connection


A growing base of research adopts direct demand models to reveal associations between transit ridership and influence factors in recent years. This study is designed to investigate the factors affecting rail transit ridership at both station level and station-to-station level by adopting multiple regression model and multiplicative model respectively, specifically using an implemented Metro system in Nanjing, China, where Metro implementation is on the rise. Independent variables include factors measuring land-use mix, intermodal connection, station context, and travel impedance. Multiple regression model proves 11 variables are significantly associated with Metro ridership at station level: population, employment, business/office floor area, CBD dummy variable, number of major educational sites, entertainment venues and shopping centers, road length, feeder bus lines, bicycle park-and-ride (P&R) spaces, and transfer dummy variable. Results from multiplicative model indicate that factors influencing Metro station ridership may also influence Metro station-to-station ridership, varied by both trip ends (origin/destination) and time of day. In comparison with previous case studies, CBD dummy variable and bicycle P&R are statistically significant to explain Metro ridership in Nanjing. In addition, Metro travel impedance variables have significant influence on station-to-station ridership, representing the basic time-decay relationship in travel distribution. Potential implications of the model results include estimating Metro ridership at station level and station-to-station level by considering the significant variables, recognizing the necessity to establish a cooperative multi-modal transit system, and identifying opportunities for transit-oriented development.


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