Notification

PTV research finds passengers travelling on carriages twice as crowded as others on peak services

Added: 24 January 2013

Research by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) has shown some passengers are travelling in train carriages almost twice as crowded as others on the same service during peak times.

PTV Director of Operations Norman Gray said the research will provide train passengers with valuable information that can be used to help make their journey more comfortable.

“While we're working to upgrade Melbourne’s rail network, deliver more services and maintain our tracks and trains to an increasingly high standard, PTV also has research teams dedicated to understanding how every day commuters use the public transport network,” Mr Gray said.

“This research looked at the number of people using individual carriages on our most popular train services and we have been able to identify patterns and trends where we see carriages more or less loaded on the same service.”

Mr Gray said that on some lines, carriage loadings vary greatly with carriages carrying between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the total train load.

“That means we have trains running with some carriages twice as crowded as others.” he said.

“It’s easy to be on auto pilot when it’s a train journey you make every day, but by spreading out along the platform and considering using a different carriage it might make your journey that much more comfortable. And in the interests of the network, more evenly loaded trains help us reduce the time trains stop at stations to let passengers on and off and improve on-time running.

“We intend to deliver this information to the travelling public through the PTV website.”

PTV research shows that passengers are unevenly distributed across carriages on many peak train services. An evenly distributed load across six carriages would result in 16.67% of the train’s load on each carriage. 

Across the network, the third carriage is the most popular place to board a train, with fewer people taking the last carriage away from their driver. This holds true in both the morning and afternoon peak periods.

In October 2012, during the AM Peak; lines with the most uneven loading distributions included:

  • Sandringham – load distribution varies between 20.1% (carriage 1) and 10.2% (carriage 6)
  • Williamstown – varies between 10.0% (carriage 1) and 21.8 % (carriage 3)
  • Laverton – varies between 12.4% (carriage 1) and 20.5% (carriage 3)
  • Sydenham – varies between 12.8% (carriage 6) and 18.6% (carriage 2)

During the PM Peak; lines with the most uneven loading distributions included:

  • Sandringham – load distribution varies between 12.8% (carriage 1) and 18.6% (carriage 5)
  • Williamstown – varies between 20.8% (carriage 3) and 10.5% (carriage 6)
  • Laverton – varies between 23.0% (carriage 1) and 9.9% (carriage 6)
  • Alamein - varies between 24.7% (carriage 4) and 8.7% (carriage 6)

Analysis of the distribution of loads across carriages on peak train services was carried out at North Melbourne, Richmond and Jolimont stations from October 2012.

Analysis of the distribution of loads across carriages on peak train services was carried out at North Melbourne, Richmond and Jolimont stations from October 2012.

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