Effect of moving walkway arrangement on unidirectional crowd flow characteristics

Mengchen He, Yunfei Qiu, Xinru Ge, Ran Huang, Juan Chen, Qiao Wang, Tsz Yin Jacqueline Lo, Jian Ma

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


As moving walkways (MWs) are being used in larger airport terminals, train stations and so on, there is growing concern about their impact on the crowd movement. Some existing applications have shown that these passenger conveyors are not always capable of providing a better level of service, therefore, it is necessary to examine the effect of MWs on crowd dynamics thoroughly. In this work, we first construct more realistic numerical experimental scenarios and utilize a macroscopic continuum pedestrian model to simulate crowd movement in long corridors with the MWs under various conditions, including demand level, operation speed, position, landing area, and layout. Then, based on the comparison of experiment results such as total travel time, density distribution, queue size, and total crowd pressure, we analyze the effect of MWs on unidirectional crowd dynamics. From the results, we prove that the presence of a landing area between two segments of MWs can help to split the flow in the main direction and enhance the safety of crowd movement. Moreover, according to our research, compared to increasing the operation speed, modifying the position and layout of MWs is more effective and cost-saving in improving traffic efficiency. In summary, this paper investigates the effect of MWs and provides a better understanding to organizers when designing pedestrian conveyor systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129789
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024


  • Landing area
  • Layout
  • Moving walkways
  • Pedestrian dynamics
  • Traffic efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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