Real-time information system for spreading rail passengers across train carriages: agent-based simulation study

Commuter trains with multiple carriages tend to have varying distribution of passengers. At peak times, this can cause disproportionate occupancy rates of carriages, as well as crowding within the train and along the platform. As a result, passenger satisfaction is negatively affected as indicated by high sectional density and seat unavailability. This study, thus, aims to improve Queensland Rail passenger satisfaction in the boarding, riding, and alighting of trains. This is achieved via an improved passenger information system (PIS) that relays carriage occupancy levels to waiting passengers prior to the arrival of each train. The proposed system influences the passenger decision making process of where to wait along the platform by allowing them to take into account the occupancy rate of each carriage. It also offers a degree of certainty in regard to seat availability and ease of boarding. Passengers will then be capable of distributing themselves among low-occupancy train carriages in advance. An agent-based simulation approach is used to model dynamic behaviours of heterogeneous passengers along a platform as a proof of concept study. The paper develops a conceptual agent-based model that enables us to test various hypothetical scenarios representing different PIS settings as a case study focusing on a train station in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The input parameters (passenger volume and boarding/alighting passenger distribution) for the simulation model are prepared based on historical smart card records. The results from the simulation analysis suggest that the carriage occupancy information relay system can improve the distribution of passengers, thus increasing passenger satisfaction levels. Additionally, passenger behaviour data was obtained via an online survey to gain an understanding of passenger perceptions and tolerance of railway crowding within the Brisbane rail network. The survey results are to be used to extend the conceptual simulation model to reflect real-world operations and passenger distributions.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: 38th Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF 2016), Melbourne, 16th - 18th November 2016

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01627465
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 10:12AM