The traditional 4-step travel demand forecasting model is the most widely used model for the transportation planning in the world. However, it requires extensive time and costs for analysis. In addition, it is uncertain to have an accurate result of transit ridership, especially when two or more stations exist in the same traffic analysis zone. For this reason, transportation planners consistently point out the need of a sketch ridership model or a direct demand model based on socio-economic data. This study empirically analyzes the relationship among urban railway ridership, socio-economic characteristics and catchment bands. For this purpose, the study develops sketch level transit ridership models that are practical in the process of an initial railway plan. The study utilizes socio-economic data based on a block group level, which is about 1/24 of a traditional zone size. The analysis examines 278 existing stations, including 248 stations of heavy rail transit (HRT) and 30 stations of light rail transit (LRT) in Korea. The results show that the catchment band of HRT stations is wider than that of LRT stations. Ridership of HRT stations is highly correlated with numbers of business and household, while ridership of LRT stations is highly correlated with numbers of economically active population and business.
Lee, K. S., Eom, J. K., You, S. Y., Min, J. H., & Yang, K. Y. (2015). An empirical study on the relationship between urban railway ridership and socio-economic characteristics. In Procedia Computer Science (Vol. 52, pp. 106–112). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2015.05.037