Comparative Study of Macroscopic Pedestrian Flow Characteristics on Stairways at Rail Transit Stations

  • Jiten Shah
  • Gaurang Joshi
  • Purnima Parida
  • Shriniwas Arkatkar
Original Article


In order to ensure desired level of service at stairways; particularly during heavy flow; and to evaluate evacuation strategies during emergency situations, it is necessary to study characteristics of pedestrian flow on stairways. In the present paper, study on pedestrian flow on a weekday has been carried out at a busy suburban rail transit station, namely, Dadar in Mumbai, India. For this purpose, bi-directional movements of pedestrian are analyzed at two stairways of different widths. The space-flow relationship shows that at lower space module of 0.21 m2/p, flow rises to maximum value then declines within small range of space and further pedestrian movement becomes standstill as the demand increases beyond capacity. Results of the study are also compared with the results of past studies for the purpose of mapping of different boundary conditions in India and other countries. It is found that the pedestrian in India, walk very closely (space between two neighboring pedestrian is relatively very small) than the other countries under space restriction tolerating unavoidable body contact. However, this situation may get converted into potential risk of accident during emergency condition for the transit users, while accessing staircases and hence, there can be a serious safety issue. Study outcome is expected to be very useful for appropriate planning and design of pedestrian facility based on the pedestrian flow characteristics under extreme circumstances.


Pedestrian flow Walking space Stairway Rail transit station 



Funding was provided by CSIR-CRRI. The research work presented in this paper is carried out under the project, tilted, “Supra Institutional Network Project for Development of Indian Highway Capacity Manual (Indo-HCM)” funded by Planning Commission of India under 12th 5 year plan. This work would have not been possible without cooperation extended by the Divisional Railway Manager, Western Railways, Mumbai, India. The authors express deep sense of gratitude for their kind support.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiten Shah
    • 1
  • Gaurang Joshi
    • 2
  • Purnima Parida
    • 3
  • Shriniwas Arkatkar
    • 2
  1. 1.CEDInstitute of Infrastructure, Technology, Research and ManagementAhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.CEDS. V. National Institute of TechnologySuratIndia
  3. 3.Transportation Planning DivisionCSIR-CRRINew DelhiIndia

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