Passenger Volumes and Dwell Times for Commuter Trains: A Case Study Using Automatic Passenger Count Data in Stockholm

Ruben Alaric Kuipers and Carl-William Palmqvist. Applied Sciences, June 2022.
This study investigates the relationship between passenger volumes and the frequency and size of dwell times for commuter trains. We use data collected by automatic passenger count systems in Stockholm and show that dwell times often take longer than scheduled. To understand the effect of passenger volumes on delays, we use the frequencies of delays for different passenger volumes and delay sizes. We find that these frequencies differ significantly from a frequency distribution independent of passenger volumes, indicating that passenger volumes have an effect on the frequency of dwell time delays. Neglecting passenger volumes underestimates the frequency of delays in most cases, especially for smaller delays. Although the frequency of dwell time delays increases as passenger volumes increase, the same is not necessarily true for their size. The relationship between passenger volumes and delay sizes is thus non-linear, and it depends on scheduled dwell times. We conclude that small increases in dwell times can result in sharp increases in on-time performance but that only increasing dwell times is not sufficient. Measures to speed up the boarding and alighting process are also necessary.
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