Exposing the role of exposure: Public transport network risk analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - performance, place - europe, planning - network design


Risk analysis, Public transport, Exposure, Disruption, Critical links


Network risk assessment takes into consideration the probability that adverse events occur and the impacts of such disruptions on network functionality. In the context of transport networks, most studies have focused on vulnerability, the reduction in performance indicators given that a disruption occurs. This study presents and applies a method to explicitly account for exposure in identifying and evaluating link criticality in public transport networks. The proposed method is compared with conventional measures that lack exposure information. A criticality assessment is performed by accounting for the probability of a certain event occurring and the corresponding welfare loss. The methodology was applied for a multi-modal public transport network in the Netherlands where data concerning disruptions was available. The results expose the role of exposure in determining link criticality and overall network vulnerability. The findings demonstrate that disregarding exposure risks prioritizing links with high passenger volumes over links with a higher failure probability that are significantly more critical to network performance. The inclusion of exposure allows performing a risk analysis and has consequences on assessing mitigation measures and investment priorities.


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


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