Development of an Urban Railway Network to Improve Passenger Health
K Cho, S Terabe, Tokyo University of Science, JP
This empirical study shows the result of urban rail development, which can improve not only passengers' benefit of travel but their health. The total calorie burnings is increased due to the growth of walking distance at the interchange stations.
This study shows the development of urban railway network forced passengers to walk more and hence their health might be improved.
The number of passengers who use urban rail in Tokyo metropolitan area has increased 19%, from 8 million to 9.5 million, for these 20 years. The railway network was expanded as the number of interchange stations is increasing from 81 stations in 1985 to 277 stations in 2005. When new railway lines were built in urban area which has little space for construction, most of the new stations should be located deep under the ground or far from the existing stations. Passengers have to walk long distance if they transfer from one line to another.
It is demonstrated by using two data; urban rail census and station survey. The urban rail census of Tokyo, conducted every five years since 1985, includes the number of transferred passengers between two different lines in each interchange station. The station survey is conducted by authors' colleagues periodically in order to quantify transfers. They are measured by walking distance between two platforms of different lines, numbers of upstairs and downstairs, and existence of elevators and escalators. The passengers' transfer can be converted to the amount of calorie burning. The more calories are burned, the healthier passengers achieve.
The result of the comparison for last 20 years showed that the total calorie burnings is increased due to the growth of number of passengers and number of interchange stations. The amount of calorie burning per one transfer had increased 27%, from 8.255 (kcal / transfer) in 1985 to 10.45 (kcal / transfer) in 1990, however, there was no significant increase after then. It is depends on the growth of the number of transfer per one passenger. The difference in calorie burnings between users and non-users of escalators had been 72% wider for these 20 years because more passengers used escalators after they are installed along with existing upstairs.
This empirical study shows another side of urban rail network development. Passengers achieve convenient transit service by densely-connected railway lines, and at the same time, they have to walk longer and go up and down more stairs from one station to another. We should understand that the development of urban railway network can improve not only passengers' benefit of travel but also their health.
Association for European Transport