On passenger saturation flow in public transport doors

Rodrigo Fernández*, Alejandra Valencia, Sebastian Seriani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


In previous studies the authors have shown passengers' boarding and alighting times for the Transantiago system obtained at the Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory (PAMELA) of University College London. Following this line of research, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate the existence of pedestrian saturation flows in public transport doors and show some values of this variable under different conditions. The methodology to achieve this aim was real-scale experiments performed in both PAMELA and the Human Dynamics Laboratory at Universidad de los Andes in Santiago de Chile. Different groups of people getting off a mock-up of a public transport vehicle were recorded by means of video cameras. The videos were then visually processed to find values of passenger saturation flow according to door configurations. The variables studied were the vertical gap between the platform and the vehicle chassis and the width of the door. Results indicate that it is possible to define values of passenger saturation flows for different characteristics of public transport doors. These values proved to be statistically sensitive to both the vertical gap and the width of the door. In addition, results indicate that there seems to be both a vertical gap and a door width for which the flow of passenger reaches its optimum rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-112
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is being financed by FONDECYT – Chile, Grant No. 1120219 . The authors would like to thank the staff of PAMELA for their help in conducting the experiments as well as Joaquin Fernandez for his help with the experiments and analysis of results at the Human Dynamics Laboratory of Universidad de los Andes. We also thank the comments of two anonymous reviewers, which have significantly helped to improve this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Door capacity
  • Passengers
  • Public transport
  • Saturation flow


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