Operational Impacts of Platform Doors in Metros
mode - subway/metro, infrastructure - station, planning - safety/accidents, planning - service improvement
Platform doors, operational impacts, safety, dwell time
Platform doors are increasingly installed by metros, primarily to improve safety. However, they have the potential for both positive and negative operational impacts, mostly by affecting dwell times at stations. Using data from the CoMET and Nova international metro benchmarking consortia of 33 metro systems, this paper seeks to understand and quantify these operational impacts. Overall, platform doors have a net negative impact on dwell times, leading to between 4 and 15 s of extra time per station stop. This is due to the additional time required for the larger doors to open and close, slower passenger movements due to the additional distance between platforms and trains, and, most importantly, extended departure delays after both sets of doors are closed caused by the need to ensure safety (that no one is trapped in the gap between the two sets of doors). This is a particular problem in mainland China, where metros conduct manual safety checks that require drivers to step out of trains onto platforms. However, despite longer dwell times, platform doors have a net positive impact on metro operations, largely due to the many safety benefits that also reduce delays and thereby improve service performance. There are also potential benefits regarding energy and ventilation. To mitigate the negative impacts, metros should seek to refine procedures and improve technology to reduce dwell time delays caused by platform doors. Reducing or eliminating these extra delays are essential to delivering efficient service and maximum capacity, provided that safety can be assured.
Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.
Barron, A., Canavan, S., Anderson, R., & Cohen, J. (2018). Operational Impacts of Platform Doors in Metros. Transportation Research Record. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361198118784386