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Many public transport systems handle a high directional flow of passengers— often traveling to work in a city in the morning rush hour and away from the said city in the late afternoon. To increase the passenger throughput, many systems can be reconfigured to change the direction of the optimized flow. A common example is a railway or metro station with more than two parallel escalators, where the majority of the escalators can be set to move in one direction. This gives rise to the measure of the peak-flow rather than a simple average of half of the total capacity.
Bus Rapid Transit (at grade)
90 passengers per vehicle * 15 vehicles per hour = 1,350 passengers per hour per direction. This number suggests a maximum daily ridership of around 20,000, which is what the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line is averaging.
Bus Rapid Transit (grade-separated)
90 passengers per vehicle * 30 vehicles per hour = 2,700 passengers per hour per direction. Note that by lengthening the platforms at bus rapid transit stations to provide more than one space where a bus can stop, you can add more vehicles and thus more capacity.
Light Rail Transit (at grade)
90 passengers per vehicle * 3 vehicles per train * 15 vehicle sets per hour = 4,050 passengers per hour. This number suggests a maximum daily ridership of around 60,000.
Light Rail Transit (grade-separated)
90 passengers per vehicle * 3 vehicles per train * 30 vehicle sets per hour = 8,100 passengers per hour.
100 passengers per vehicle * 10 vehicles per train * 30 vehicle sets per hour = 30,000 passengers per hour. This number suggests a maximum daily ridership of around 450,000. The Bloor line in Toronto has a daily ridership of almost 500,000, while the Yonge line, which is really two lines, Yonge and University-Spading, has a ridership of over 700,000.
- United Kingdom Parliament, Integrated Transport: The Future of Light Rail and Modern Trams in Britain Inquiry, Memorandum by Transport for London (LR 77) Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, 2005-08-10.
- U.S. Department of Transportation, Report on South American Bus Rapid Transit Field Visits: Tracking the Evolution of the TransMilenio Model Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine, 2007-12, retrieved 2008-07-10.
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