Examining determinants of rail ridership: a case study of the Orlando SunRail system

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - rail, ridership - modelling, ridership - forecasting


Commuter rail, Orlando SunRail, boarding, alighting, panel linear regression model, policy analysis


The current study contributes to the literature on transit ridership by considering daily boarding and alighting data from a recently launched commuter rail system in Orlando, Florida – SunRail. The analysis is conducted based on daily boarding and alighting data for 10 months for the year 2015. With the availability of repeated observations for every station, the potential impact of common unobserved factors affecting ridership variables are considered. The current study develops an estimation framework, for boarding and alighting separately, that accounts for these unobserved effects at multiple levels – station, station-week and station-day. In addition, the study examines the impact of various observed exogenous factors such as station level, transportation infrastructure, transit infrastructure, land use, built environment, sociodemographic and weather variables on ridership. The model system developed will allow us to predict ridership for existing stations in the future as well as potential ridership for future expansion sites.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.