While maintaining a high level of ridership is often seen as necessary for a transit system's success, care must also be taken to deal with these large numbers of people in an orderly fashion. Proper, logical queueing of riders to ensure maximum ease for transit users and non-users alike is undoubtedly essential. To illustrate this concept, a thought-provoking article - Watch 'Real-Time' Transit Planning Help North America's Busiest Bus Line - describes how one of Vancouver's most heavily used bus lines experienced crowding at the point of boarding, leading to sidewalk obstruction for non-rider pedestrians.
The planners entrusted with the task of remedying the problem used simple powers of observation and trial-and-error to find a simple yet effective solution that might even seem obvious: using tape to make highlighted lanes on the sidewalk.
The article does not tell if the improvement in rider flow was permanent, or if the riders started ignoring the demarcated lanes on subsequent days (although one expects that the sidewalk lanes would continue to be effective). However, the most important lesson to be gleaned from this example is in the planners' methods. To quote the planners from the article, "Sometimes it's easy for us to be armchair planners and look at maps and data and this other stuff and attack a problem. But this is one of those cases that just by being there and observing over the course of a couple of hours how people react to something, it became clear what was going to work and what wasn't."
Does anyone in the Urban Transport Community of Practice have similar real-world experience in managing rider congestion? Has anyone ever devised a simple, low-cost solution after on-site observation? Any other thoughts or comments on the article? Please share with the C4D Community!