Social Distance Modeling on the Copenhagen, Denmark, Metro

Basthiann A. Bilde, Morten L. Andersen, Steven Harrod

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Public transport is a critical service in Copenhagen, Denmark, because many residents do not own a car, and in any event, car travel is not practical in the city center due to narrow roads and lack of parking. In response to COVID-19, Danish public health authorities have established a minimum 1-m social distancing policy in public spaces. This study simulates passenger pedestrian flow in three representative stations of the Copenhagen metro to determine if these goals can be attained and if any physical changes should be made. The study is conducted with a microsimulation in commercially available software of the passenger flow in three representative stations, with small, medium, and large traffic flows. The simulation is agent-based, and the individual objective function is minimum cost according to walking distance, comfort, and frustration. The results show that for the majority of stations, the physical infrastructure and the expected traffic flow are compatible with the social distancing goals. However, for a few of the highest demand stations, particularly those that serve as intermodal hubs, there are great difficulties in achieving the desired social distancing measures. In particular, the intermodal hub station of Nørreport does not possess corridors and escalators that are distributed correctly according to the pedestrian flow. This station is underground, and it is unfortunately not easy to change this infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0000633
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering Part A: Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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  • Pedestrian simulation
  • Public transit stations


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