Mode boundaries of automated metro and semi-rapid rail in urban transit

Luigi Moccia, Duncan W. Allen, Gilbert Laporte, Andrea Spinosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our research question is to what extent, and under what circumstances, full automation in metro lines defines transit mode boundaries with respect to semi-rapid transit. The modeling approach is based on micro-economic appraisal. Automation, beside changing the investment and operation and maintenance cost profiles of metro lines, can improve some aspects of the user experience. The low marginal cost of frequency possible with automated metro may unlock both users’ benefits via reduced waiting times and crowding, and operator’s savings via shorter trains and smaller platforms and stations. We show how the user’s travel time components are structurally different under several configurations. In particular, we highlight the critical role that different demand and alignment patterns play in the mode comparison.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Transport
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Nov 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Transportation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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