, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 1075–1100 | Cite as

An integrated measure of accessibility and reliability of mass transit systems

  • Hyun KimEmail author
  • Yena Song


The growth of a city or a metropolis requires well-functioning transit systems to accommodate the ensuing increase in travel demand. As a result, mass transit networks have to develop and expand from simple to complex topological systems over time to meet this demand. Such an evolution in the networks’ structure entails not only a change in network accessibility, but also a change in the level of network reliability on the part of stations and the entire system as well. Network accessibility and reliability are popular measures that have been widely applied to evaluate the resilience and vulnerability of a spatially networked system. However, the use of a single measure, either accessibility or reliability, provides different results, which demand an integrated measure to evaluate the network’s performance comprehensively. In this paper, we propose a set of integrated measures, named ACCREL (Integrated Accessibility and Reliability indicators) that considers both metrics in combination to evaluate a network’s performance and vulnerability. We apply the new measures for hypothetical mass transit system topologies, and a case study of the metro transit system in Seoul follows, highlighting the dynamics of network performance with four evolutionary stages. The main contribution of this study lies in the results from the experiments, which can be used to inform how transport network planning can be prepared to enhance the network functionality, thereby achieving a well-balanced, accessible, and reliable system. Insights on network vulnerability are also drawn for public transportation planners and spatial decision makers.


Mass transit system Accessibility Reliability Seoul metro network ACCREL 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyChonnam National UniversityGwangjuSouth Korea

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