Simulation of passenger motion in metro stations during rush hours based on video analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, infrastructure - station


Metro station, Overall consumed time, Social force model, Video analysis, Agent-based simulation


The crowd density in a metro station during rush hours is usually extremely high in China, which makes the passengers consume much time in the station during the inbound or outbound process. In order to figure out the key impact factors of the overall consumed time from the first passenger alighting to the last one reaching the exit of the station while a train arrives (later known as the “overall consumed time”), this research first analyzes the surveillance video during rush hours in some typical metro stations and obtains the critical parameters of the pedestrian motion in metro stations. Afterward, it proposes an “expected velocity model” to simulate the motion of a pedestrian in a slowly moving crowd and an “attractive force model” between two companions in the stations. Moreover, it proposes a “destination choice model” and “path planning algorithm” to simulate the passengers choosing destinations and planning paths in underground double island stations considering the estimated distance, queuing number, and convenience. Finally, the study establishes an agent-based system to simulate the pedestrian motion in the Guanggu Square subway station which is one of the busiest stations in China. The simulation results prove the availability of the models and algorithms proposed in this research. Additionally, the following conclusions are drawn by comparing different hypothetical situations: (1) the overall consumed time presents a decreasing trend while the passenger amount is large; (2) the instantaneous crowding degree on the 1st floor underground is much lower than that on the 2nd floor underground; (3) it is of great necessity to guide the outbound passengers to choose stairways or escalators homogeneously to go upstairs while the inbound passengers to choose escalators rather than stairways to go downstairs while a train arrives; (4) the distance between the stairways or escalators at each end of the station should not be overlarge; (5) if the designing scheme of the station permits, adding stairways or escalators can shorten the overall consumed time; (6) the establishment of escalators significantly increases the overall consumed time compared with stairways.


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


Automation in Construction Home Page: