Delivery insights

Operational planning for transport hubs experiencing high passenger volumes

Client Situation

The organizers of the most recognised winter multi-sport event of the world had developed a revolutionary venue footprint with two poles: a) a coastal cluster, and b) a mountain cluster. The two poles were connected by a new rail system, and two mountain roads.

In the specific event, spectators and workforce were allowed access to venues only by public transport. To do so, they would need to use several transport hubs and interchange stations between bus and rail, bus and cableway, rail and cableway and related pedestrian routes.

The way to problem solving

We first developed a sophisticated demand model to estimate the expected demand for spectators and workforce in the venues per quarter of an hour and for each day of the event. The demand at the venues had been transferred back to the transport hubs that serve the venues based on the structure of the complex transport network.

Our demand model incorporated critical input on transport services to/from hubs, routes, network capacities, travel times, spectator and workforce origins and stated preferences per mode, arrival and departure profiles, as well as workforce shift patterns.

Having completed the demand model, we identified the bump in, bump out and crossover peaks that represent the most challenging hours of operation for the transport hubs. Taking into account the expected spectator and workforce demand at the peaks, we:

  • Designed the bus malls
  • Allocated load zones to services
  • Designed and evaluated all vehicle and pedestrian flows
  • Sized the Pedestrian Screening Areas
  • Developed signage
  • Developed all load zone and parking processes
  • Drafted staffing plans of the hubs.


We estimated the peak load per bus service and determined headways and required number of load zones for all transport hubs based on the identified peaks.

For the major mountain transport hub, we refined the mall designs adding bypass lanes and enhancing the overall layout. We also suggested saw tooth load zone design to increase capacity and we separated drop off from pick load zones to ensure the separation of flows. This hub will accommodate 42 load zones in total.

In the major hub in the coastal area, we redesigned the bus mall to improve operations. We also designed all vehicle and pedestrian flows, queuing areas, and Pedestrian Screening Areas in order to ensure comfortable movements for 15 000 arriving to 25 000 leaving spectators and workforce per hour.

It should be noted that the operational feasibility of both transport hubs was validated by microsimulation.