Using Equivalent Walking Distance to Assess Pedestrian Accessibility to Transit Stations in Singapore

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - station, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - surveys, mode - rail, mode - pedestrian, mode - pedestrian


Walkways, Walks, Walking distance, Traffic free zones, Surveys, Singapore, Rail transit stations, Pedestrian walkways, Pedestrian vehicle interface, Pedestrian trafficways, Pedestrian precinct, Pedestrian facilities, Pedestrian areas, Paths, Passengers, Interviewing, Footways, Equivalent walking distance, Condition surveys, Auto free zones, Accessibility


The study aims to investigate factors that affect passengers’ choice of walking to rail transit and to develop a method of assessing walking conditions in the vicinity of mass rapid transit (MRT) stations in Singapore. The focus is on the analysis of surveys conducted around 11 MRT stations and the development of the concept of equivalent walking distance. Besides interview surveys with passengers at the stations, assessments of more than 200 walking routes were carried out in the field to investigate the actual walking distances and conditions, such as walkway quality, steps, slopes, presence of barriers, and delays at road crossings. About 60% of MRT passengers walked to the stations, and the average walking distance was 608 m. Men were more likely to walk than women. A submodal split model was estimated to investigate factors affecting passengers’ choice of walking or taking a feeder service to access an MRT station. Besides the actual distance, factors that significantly affected the access mode choice were number of road crossings, traffic conflicts, and number of ascending steps. The equivalent walking distance equation is proposed on the basis of the model coefficients; the equation reflects the relative effect of these factors on the generalized walking effort. Because equivalent walking distance represents the extra effort required to overcome obstacles, it can be used as an indicator of the quality of pedestrian facilities. Among the five walkway networks analyzed, the average equivalent walking distance was between 20% and 39% longer than the actual distance.