Evaluation of Alternative Station Spacings for Rapid Transit Lines

by Howard Permut, Sr. Transportation Planner; Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago, Ill.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 3, Pg. 311-321

Document Type: Journal Paper


An evaluation methodology to examine station placement strategies for proposed new rapid transit lines has been developed and applied to a proposed new rapid transit line in Chicago. The focus of the analysis is an empirical evaluation of the impacts of ½ mile (0.8 km) and 1 mile (1.6-km) station spacings. The alternatives are analyzed with respect to a series of criteria, including capital cost, operating cost, ridership attracted, and user impact (travel time and cost savings). The 1-mile (1.6-km) spacing is found to be superior with regard to all four evaluation criteria. An analysis of the sensitivity of the results shows that the dominance of the longer spacing is stable with respect to the major analytical assumptions. The report concludes that the 1-mile (1.6-km) spacing is better for the proposed line. In addition, there is an analysis of the transferability of both the empirical results and the evaluation methodology utilized.

Subject Headings: Sensitivity analysis | Spacing | Rapid transit systems | Transportation management | Empirical equations | Travel time | Assets | Ridership | Chicago | Illinois | United States

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