Valuation of Metro Crowding Considering Heterogeneity of Route Choice Behaviors

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, operations - crowding, planning - surveys, ridership - behaviour, ridership - modelling


Metro, Crowding, Crowding multipliers (CMs), Route choice


More than seven million people rely on the metro system daily in Seoul, South Korea. The metro system plays a vital role in connecting passengers to desired locations with the advantage of allowing for travel reliability and relative safety, all the while being an environmentally friendly alternative to other transport systems. Despite the benefits mentioned above, crowding on the metro can contribute significantly to deterioration of the individual’s travel experience and necessitates its proper evaluation, so that user experience may be improved. To achieve this, this study quantifies the level of crowding by deriving estimates for route choice models with crowding as one of the main attributes for metro passenger decisions. The data used in the model are obtained through a stated preference survey, which was conducted at five major transfer stations in Seoul to estimate factors such as travel time, transfers, travel cost, and crowding level. These attributes are then analyzed using homogeneity and heterogeneity models of different trip purposes. Furthermore, crowding multipliers (CMs) for Seoul are estimated and compared with those of other cities around the world. Estimation results pinpoint crowding as one of the main factors in route choice for passengers for all types of trips, with multiplier values reaching the highest of all cities around the world for sitting CM and standing CM at 2.15 and 3.22, respectively. Our results indicate that Seoul metro passengers are more sensitive to crowding than any of the passengers analyzed in 18 major city metros around the world.


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