Experimental study on evacuation behaviour of passengers in a high-deck coach: A Chinese case study

Rong Huang, Xuan Zhao*, Yufei Yuan, Qiang Yu, Chenyu Zhou, Winnie Daamen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


High-deck coaches form an essential component of mass transportation systems in China. Safe evacuation from high-deck coaches is facing dire challenges. However, evacuation behaviour from high-deck coaches has not been deeply understood yet. In this study, a novel conceptual framework is firstly proposed to capture the evacuation behaviour of coach passengers, and next based on which 22 full-scale experiments have been conducted to examine the effect of three selected factors: available exits, lighting conditions and age groups on the evacuation behaviour of Chinese passengers in a high-deck coach, in a systematic and quantitative way. Four performance indicators of evacuation behaviour, i.e., evacuation time, pre-evacuation time, flow rate and crowdedness, were collected and analysed. The results indicate that limited available exits and the dim lighting condition (less than 1 lux) significantly reduce the evacuation efficiency and increase the crowdedness within the aisle area regardless of the age groups. Compared to young students, the evacuation of middle-aged people is observed to have a significantly longer pre-evacuation time, lower evacuation efficiency, and higher level of crowdedness. In addition, young students’ pre-evacuation times are found to conform to the Weibull distribution, whereas middle-aged people’ pre-evacuation times could be modelled with the Loglogistic distribution. Empirical results of this study could be helpful for the improvement of the safety design of high-deck coaches, and provide valuable benchmarks for the development of coach evacuation behaviour and simulation models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126120
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Chinese passengers
  • Evacuation behaviour
  • Evacuation experiment
  • High-deck coaches
  • Pre-evacuation

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