A multi-criteria assessment of the passengers’ level of comfort in urban railway rolling stock

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, place - north america, mode - rail, mode - subway/metro, policy - sustainable, planning - service level, planning - service quality, ridership - commuting, ridership - demand


Urban railway, Rolling stock, Performance assessment, User satisfaction, Comfort, Health and safety, Sustainable societies


Transit agencies concentrate their efforts to satisfy most commuters and convince them to abandon the use of the private car in daily trips, which is a key element in promoting environmentally sustainable cities. Travel time and cost have been widely investigated as travelers’ satisfaction factors, while human aspects such as comfort are mostly neglected. Management of urban transit systems should ensure a convenient transit service with adequate levels of ride and quality (time and cost) as well as users’ comfort, health and safety to achieve sustainable societies. This study proposes an approach to quantitatively measure railway riders’ comfort in terms of humidity, temperature, vibration, the concentration of CO2, noise, and lighting. Such indexes can be used to direct the allocation of investments for improvement of comfort in urban transit infrastructures as well as capture reality in demand prediction modeling. A case study of several lines in the Montreal metro network is presented to illustrate the applicability and usefulness of the proposed approach. The newer trains in the Montreal metro are an improvement over older trains when it comes to rider comfort; however, they could still be better, especially when it comes to auditory comfort.


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


Sustainable Cities and Society