Launching the

20 July 2018
In July, we launched a new feature giving easy-to-read comparisons between different transport modes and the space they take up.
This is the #TransitCapacityComparison series.

We’ve been creating infographics comparing the capacities of different transport modes for a while now, but never in a consistent, easily comparable format.

It started out as a way to help explain the weaknesses of Hyperloop, but when the incumbent chair of the Transport Select Committee made a request for a Nottingham version of the graphics, we could hardly say no!

Anyway, these graphics are based on a very simple rule:

System capacity is equal to the maximum vehicle capacity multiplied by the number of services per hour.

This figure is the maximum number of people a given transport mode can move per hour in one direction, not the recorded ridership (the unit “p/h/d” is often used).

Where a vehicle capacity is not available or not clear (such as in the case of different vehicles operating one route), the larger vehicle capacity will be assumed throughout. If a service frequency is not specified, this is estimated using similar services or derived from the maximum possible operational frequency based on the equations of motion.

For some of our comparisons, particularly for car or active travel users, we have omitted the “number of departures” element of the infographic as this isn’t particularly useful.

Where would you like the next comparison to be? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #TransitCapacityComparison