Controlling passenger flow to mitigate the effects of platform overcrowding on train dwell time

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, operations - crowding, operations - coordination, operations - capacity, operations - reliability


Passenger flow control, rail platform crowding, train delays, train dwell time


This paper presents a cost-effective strategy to reduce train delays by controlling passenger flow at the station entry. When a scheduled dwell time delay is likely to occur, the strategy reduces the number of passengers entering the platform by slowing down the opening speed of the automated fare collection (AFC) gates. The dwell time of the next train is predicted to enable proactive passenger flow control. A linear dwell time model is developed for the control strategy using empirical data from the Gangdong-Gu Office station of Seoul Metro, South Korea. The strategy is tested using simulation in two different settings against the base case with no passenger flow control. The results show the passenger flow control reduced the frequency of scheduled dwell time delays, but it also caused severe congestion in the AFC gate area. While the strategy appears to transfer the location of the overcrowding problem, it is safer and easier to manage congestion in the gate area than on the platform. Coordinating the passenger flow control strategy across a network could reduce scheduled dwell time delays and passenger travel times and improve rail capacity and reliability more cost-effectively than infrastructure solutions.


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