Quantitative Assessment of Public Transport Interchanges

Quantitative Assessment of Public Transport Interchanges


P Olszewski, Warsaw University of Technology; P Krukowski, Roads and Urban Maintenance Authority of Wroclaw, PL


A new method is proposed for evaluating public transport interchanges using indicators of: integration, accessibility, safety, security, orientation and information provision. The method was applied for assessing 10 transport interchanges in Warsaw


It is commonly recognized that passenger friendly public transport interchanges play a key role in making public transport more attractive and more efficient. Yet besides general design guidelines and examples of good practice, there are no methods for assessing the level of friendliness, efficiency and service quality of interchanges. This paper presents an original method for evaluating public transport interchanges using 8 indicators as well as application of the method for assessing transport interchanges in Warsaw. All the indicators are quantitative and can be used both for assessing existing public transport interchanges as well as for evaluating design proposals for new or upgraded interchanges.

There are over 40 locations in Warsaw where intensive transfers between public transport services take place and these are considered "public transport interchanges". These interchanges involve a number of transport modes (railway, metro, tram and bus), facility types (multi-level stations, bus terminals, clusters of bus/tram stops) and a variety of passenger transfer conditions. With the aim of improving these conditions, the Roads and Public Transport Department of the City of Warsaw has recently commissioned two studies in which the authors of this paper took part.

In a 2010 study: "Analysis of organization and operation of transport interchanges in the City of Warsaw" an inventory of some 40 interchanges was carried out. In addition, the authors proposed a set of indicators to be used for assessing the design of new interchanges as well as the operation of existing ones. The proposed indicators address the following issues: (1) quality of basic infrastructure, (2) spatial integration, (3) accessibility for the elderly and disabled persons, (4) ease of orientation, (5) personal security, (6) traffic safety, (7) passenger information, and (8) availability of additional facilities. For each indicator there is a description of its derivation and the proposed manner of its application. The proposed measures of interchange spatial integration (compactness) are the average inter-platform distances and walking times. The remaining seven indicators represent the level of fulfilment of several preset criteria. For example, if out of 10 platforms at a certain interchange, 6 meet the personal security criteria (i.e. are well-lit and monitored by CCTV), then the degree of fulfilment is 60% and that is the value of personal security indicator.

In the second study concluded in 2011, the above assessment method was applied for evaluating 10 public transport interchanges in Warsaw. Two methods of field data collection were used: passenger counting with interviews and interchange audit. Four interchanges were surveyed using the passenger interview method which involves counting passengers boarding and alighting public transport vehicles as well as interviewing passengers waiting at stop platforms within the interchange. Interviews were conducted during the morning and afternoon peak periods (3 hours in each peak). On average, around 20% of passengers were interviewed and the data obtained were used to estimate the matrix of transfer movements within the interchange. Passenger traffic at the busiest interchange (Metro Wilanowska) was over 17 thousand persons boarding during the afternoon 3-hour peak, with almost 80% of them making transfers.

All 10 interchanges were audited using special checklists, prepared separately for different infrastructure components: stop/station platforms, walkways, stairs and pedestrian road crossings. For each of the seven indicators, several checklist criteria were used and the percentage of infrastructure components meeting these criteria was calculated. The assessment shows that the Warsaw interchanges are generally not very well integrated, with the average inter-platform distance ranging from 136 m to 327 m and the average walking time between platforms from 1.87 to 3.27 minutes. The level of integration decreases with interchange size, measured for example by the number of platforms. Values of the other seven indicators generally depended on interchange age ? recently built or modernised interchanges scored better than the older ones. Assessment results can now be used for preparing plans for upgrading those interchanges where the biggest problems have been identified. Low values of some indicators (e.g. in the area of information and personal security) suggest the opportunity for low-cost improvements of the interchange level of passenger friendliness.


Association for European Transport