Land use characteristics of subway catchment areas and their influence on subway ridership in Seoul

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - subway/metro, land use - transit oriented development, land use - planning, land use - impacts, ridership - behaviour


Subway ridership, Land use patterns, Mixed land use, Pedestrian catchment area (PCA), Seoul


This study has dual research objectives: 1) to evaluate the land use characteristics of the pedestrian catchment areas (PCA) of subway stations in the Seoul metropolitan area (SMA) in terms of transit-oriented development (TOD) principles and 2) to investigate the influence of each PCA's land use characteristics on station-level ridership. The major findings can be summarized as follows. First, the built environments of subway PCAs in Seoul were found to be compatible with TOD principles in terms of density and diversity. They have declining density gradients of population and employment that extend outward from a station and have a high level of mixed-use land.

Second, population and employment densities, land use mix diversity, and intermodal connectivity all have a positive impact on subway ridership, but differ in their spatial ranges. In particular, the influence spans of residential and commercial development patterns (population density and the proportion of commercial land) and mixed land use on ridership were limited to only the core and primary PCAs. Consequently, with respect to TOD in a compact city like Seoul, we recommend that a PCA be defined to encompass a radius of 600 m.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Journal of Transport Geography home Page: