Metro is addresses crowding, integration of Purple Line in new Silver Spring Capacity Analysis.
Metro staff have recently kicked off a capacity analysis of the Silver Spring station. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how well the station is functioning currently in terms of access and egress, vertical circulation, and faregate crowding. The study is also looking at how to accommodate growth in demand due to the opening of the Purple Line as well as increasing job and household density in Silver Spring and the region between now and 2030.
The current conditions assessment is nearly complete, and shows that the station is performing well under normal conditions. The graphic above is a cumulative mean density map, illustrating the average amount of “elbow room” each passenger has during the peak 15 minutes. It shows that the current configuration of faregates at the two mezzanines (north is to the upper left corner) is adequate to service PM peak period demand, with only a little crowding (orange) near some faregates.
This post focuses on the PM peak period because Silver Spring has more station exits in the PM peak than the AM peak: exiting passengers all disembark the train at the same time, which can cause queues to form at escalators and faregates. Passengers entering the station, however, tend to trickle in and don’t put as much of a strain on station facilities. These passengers can crowd the platform waiting areas, which will also be evaluated under this study.