Effect of varying two key parameters in simulating evacuation for subway stations in China

C. S. Jiang, F. Yuan, Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


With the rapid development in economics, subway systems have been constructed in many big cities of China. Computer evacuation models developed overseas are commonly applied in working out safety management scheme. However, input evacuation parameters are not compiled from surveying passenger behavior in China. In fact, very few studies were conducted on justifying such parameters. Staircases in subway stations, particularly those connecting the platform and the ticket hall, are identified as the 'bottleneck' during evacuation in the subway stations. The maximum upstairs speed and the average minimum width of staircase utilized per person are the two key parameters affecting the evacuation through the staircase. Effect of varying these two parameters will be studied in this paper by taking two subway stations in China as examples. Evacuation performance is predicted with the software buildingEXODUS. The default values in the software are used and adjusted through field survey. Effect of varying either or both of the two parameters is discussed. The possible causes on the differences and the factors to affect such effect are explored. It is found that changing both parameters simultaneously would reduce the overall evacuation time by 50%. The effect of varying the two parameters on the overall evacuation performance of the whole station depends also on the occupancy density in the station; and the travel distance from the outlet of the staircase between the platform and the ticket hall to the inlet of the staircase between the ticket hall and the ground surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-451
Number of pages7
JournalSafety Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Computer simulation
  • Evacuation
  • Staircase
  • Subway stations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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