Measuring crowding-related comfort in public transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, place - asia, mode - rail, mode - subway/metro, operations - crowding, ridership - perceptions


Crowding, public transport, urban rail, crowd density function, discomfort, Istanbul metro


In this paper we focus on the estimation of crowding in public transport – specifically urban rail systems – and its effect on perceived comfort. It is different from similar studies in the method it employs for estimating crowding levels in vehicles. Specifically, we formulate a function of time and location, which uses only passenger embarking data to estimate the number of passengers in vehicles. Then we convert the estimated crowding values into perceived discomfort levels by trip section. Our method depends on hourly seasonality assumptions but provides good estimates of crowding in urban rail systems even when passenger alighting data is not available. We illustrate the implementation of our model with the example of the Istanbul Metro system.


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