Posts Tagged ‘simulation’

Silver Spring Capacity Analysis Study Under Way

September 6th, 2013 No comments

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.

queuing heat map

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.

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L’Enfant Plaza Station Capacity Improvements Study

December 6th, 2012 No comments

The L’Enfant Plaza Station is one of busiest stations in the Metrorail system and handles thousands of passenger transfers on four of the five Metrorail lines.  It ranks third among all stations in absolute ridership growth over the last five years.

Earlier this year, Metro initiated a station capacity improvements study, similar to previous studies that evaluated the feasibility of station access and capacity improvements and station circulation enhancements at Gallery Pl-Chinatown and Union Stations.  The purpose of this study is to identify and address the physical and operational internal capacity constraints of L’Enfant Plaza Station.  Both short-term and long-term capacity enhancement solutions will be sought with operational improvements and constructability in mind.

Current and Future “Hot-Spots” at L’Enfant Plaza Station Platforms during the AM Peak

In order to assess the current and future conditions within L’Enfant station, Metro has used a pedestrian simulation tool that enables the quantification of crowded conditions.  The maps included here show existing and future condition profiles of the upper and lower level platforms within the station.  Future conditions were estimated using MWCOG/TPB travel demand model, Metrorail ridership growth forecasts and Metro origin-destination data sources.  Cumulative mean density maps help to identify “hot-spots” within the station – areas where high levels of crowding are sustained.

Analysis of current pedestrian activity during the AM peak 15-minute interval showed that the station currently operates at safe levels on both platforms in the morning peak hour, and identified a large volume of transfers between the northbound upper platform where Green and Yellow lines run and the westbound lower platform where Orange and Blue lines operate.   By year 2030, however, these conditions are expected to worsen with growth of transfers.  The levels of crowding in the transfer areas leading to the lower platform intensify due to increased passenger flows and space restrictions adjacent to escalators.  Also, high passenger densities are shown to occur at the westbound Orange and Blue platform during the morning rush hours.

A reversed pattern of crowding is shown between the eastbound lower platform and the southbound upper platform for the returning passengers during the PM peak 15-minute interval.  As expected, conditions worsen with increased passenger flows and transfer activity forecast for 2030 on the southbound upper platform.

Current and Future “Hot-Spots” at L’Enfant Plaza Station Platforms during the PM Peak

Given the existing and future “no-build” scenarios presented here, Metro is currently working to develop short and long-term design alternatives for detailed evaluation.  Stay posted for additional simulation and conceptual design results as they become available.

Chart of the Week: Visualize One Day of Metro and Circulator

November 19th, 2012 3 comments

This great video shows one day’s worth of Metrorail, Metrobus and DC Circulator moving across the region.Metrobus and Circulator are both shown as white dots, while the Metrorail dots are keyed to line color.

The video should be viewed in full screen mode in order to really see Metrorail.

This video was created using the data from the Metro GTFS data feed by STLTransit, who have made similar videos for a variety of other cities.

Gallery Pl-Chinatown Capacity Improvements Study Underway

September 22nd, 2011 12 comments

Ridership growth at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metrorail station from 1977 – 2011.

The Gallery Pl-Chinatown Station is the third-busiest station in the Metrorail system, with an average of 26,000 daily passenger boardings in May 2011.  Combined with the Metro Center Station less than 1,000 feet away, these two stations facilitate downtown transfers on all five Metrorail lines, with the Yellow, Green and Red Lines at Gallery Place and the Orange, Blue and Red Lines at Metro Center. The Gallery Place Station consists of two side platforms that serve the Red Line on the upper level and one center platform that serves the Green and Yellow Lines on the lower level.

Redevelopment in the station area catalyzed by the opening of the Verizon Center in late 1997 has drastically increased the demand at this station, resulting in crowded conditions during the peak travel times throughout the station, including mezzanines, platforms and escalators.  Weekday ridership has increased from an average of 6,500 boardings in 1997 to an average of 26,000 in 2011. Although ridership has stabilized over the past few years, more growth is expected in the near future with new CityCenterDC development currently under construction at the old convention center site at 10th Street and H Street NW.

Metro’s planners are currently undertaking the Gallery Place Station Access and Capacity Improvement study, with the purpose of identifying capacity constraints and developing improvement alternatives at the station.  Similar to the Union Station Access Study, this study will provide simulations of the projected pedestrian environment on the platform at key milestone years, and will measure the effectiveness of the proposed capacity improvements.
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Union Station Metrorail Access and Capacity Study

February 22nd, 2011 2 comments
Animation of existing conditions, partial build and full build scenarios

In October, we published a post about the ongoing Union Station Metrorail Access and Capacity Study, and included a pedestrian simulation showing the existing conditions at the Union Station Metrorail station’s north mezzanine.  The study has been completed, and the proposed access and capacity improvements and resultant station performance are described below

Currently, passengers traveling through the north mezzanine experience congestion on a daily basis.   Imagine what would happen at the north mezzanine in the next 20 years, once Union Station’s local and intercity travel facilities have been expanded (including the planned streetcar terminating at 1st and H Streets NE) and the millions of square feet of planned development in the surrounding areas have been completed. Our analysis shows that pedestrian volume through the north mezzanine will increase by 60%.

The biggest challenge faced by Metro during this study was to identify feasible improvements that would provide enough capacity for all users while ensuring compatibility with building functions and historical characteristics.  Metro worked with DDOT and Union Station stakeholders to develop two improvement alternatives: Partial Build and Full Build.  These alternatives are illustrated in the animated graphic below, which rotates between existing conditions, partial build and full build every 15 seconds. Read more…

Union Station Simulation

October 19th, 2010 3 comments

The Metrorail Station at Union Station is the busiest station in the Metrorail system, with 70,000 passengers entering and exiting daily.  This station has experienced substantial ridership growth in the past three decades from the development of surrounding DC neighborhoods, expanded intercity travel and commuter rail’s growing popularity.  The existing station, designed in the 70s, can no longer accommodate the current and future passenger travel.   Passengers experience congestion on a daily basis.

In late 2009, Metro, in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), initiated a Union Station Capacity and Access Improvements Study.   The objective is to assess capacity deficiencies and develop alternatives to enhance pedestrian access, increase station capacity, reduce travel time and improve connectivity to the other transportation modes.  To be able to compare the benefits of the proposed alternatives, Metro used a pedestrian simulation tool, developed by Legion, to quantify and assess the performance throughout the station’s north mezzanine under the current station conditions and with the proposed capacity improvements.  We’ve put this post up so people can see the kinds of analysis tools Metro is using to evaluate station capacity and to visualize capacity and operating issues.  Metro will be using the pedestrian simulation tool and analysis at other stations experiencing crowded conditions, such as the Gallery Place-Chinatown station.

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