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Influencing the waiting location of railway passengers on the railway platform subconsciously

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Last Updated: 2-2016

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Railway passengers have the tendency to wait near the entrance points of the railway platform. It is the intent to organize a railway platform so that passengers are distributed more evenly, resulting in faster loading and unloading of passengers from the train. The effect of changing the waiting environment will also positively contribute to the safety aspect. The waiting behaviour of the passengers on a railway platform is dependent on both the type of traveller (must or lust) and the general behaviour of the passenger. For the must traveller, the most important behavioural factor is their habitual behaviour. A must traveller has developed a pattern in his trips; it thus is very difficult to get the must traveller out of this pattern. The average lust traveller is an insecure traveller, who does not spread out on the railway platform very easily. Both must and lust travellers have in common that they are looking for an optimal comfort level while waiting. The railway passenger looks for an optimum in comfort for his trip. On average the comfort levels are comparable on the whole platform. Therefore, the railway passenger tends to wait near the entrance point of the railway platform, because walking further will not result in more comfort. If the entrance point of the railway platform is too crowded, the passengers have the tendency to spread out further away from the entrance point. This is because the passengers feel uncomfortable when they are crammed together.
Increasing local comfort levels on the railway platform can stimulate the spreading of passengers. Introducing environmental stimuli can influence the comfort levels. These can be music, light and colour. Music is very dependent of the taste of the railway passenger, but can be introduced to improve comfort on certain places of the railway platform. A combination of light and colour seems to be the most viable option to change the waiting behaviour of the railway passenger. Because light and colour are less dependent on personal taste and can be observed from the entire railway platform as long as there are sightlines.

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