Analysis of the Impacts of Passenger Demand on the Profitability of Different Types of Urban Rail Transit
Keywords:urban rail transit, profitability, light rail transit, passenger demand, spatial characteristic
With the rapid development of urban rail transit (URT) in China, a contradiction between high costs and low passenger demand becomes prominent. Complete analysis of the impacts of passenger demand on the profitability of URT can be difficult to conduct, due to the multifaceted impact of passenger demand with multidimensional characteristics. To this end, we propose a strategy that helps to analyse the profitability of different types of URT, taking into account the spatial and temporal characteristics of demand. Based on data of the Shunde (SD) district in China, the profitability of metro, light rail transit (LRT), monorail and tram was evaluated. Results show the profitability under different demand levels. Tram might be the best choice at low demand levels. At medium demand levels, LRT and monorail are competitive. At high demand levels, LRT with medium to high capacity and low cost is a good alternative to metro, though the capacity of metro is higher. Utilizing the URT with high capacity under insufficient demand can aggravate the burden of depreciation, and make it hard to achieve profit. The spatial characteristics of the demand described in this paper reflect the problem of insufficient demand in marginal areas due to the diversified construction of URT.
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