• Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos

    Passenger Flow Study in 22 CPTM Stations

    São Paulo, Brazil

Project Summary


Each day, over 3 million passengers travel across rail lines operated by Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) in São Paulo, Brazil. Now with a population of 12.2 million people, the city has grown by over 1 million people in less than a decade, with no sign of a slowdown. Therefore, simply expanding services was not enough to keep operations running smoothly. The organization needed to ensure that passengers could move through its stations freely, while minimizing congestion at platforms and turnstiles. CPTM realized that by using innovative software, they could acquire a more thorough knowledge of passenger movement and behavior to improve rail service, reduce costs, and design new stations as efficiently as possible.


To reach these objectives, beginning in 2013, CPTM used LEGION to model the movement of rail passengers by applying the software to numerous situations, including regular operations, special events that boost passenger counts, emergency situations, and new station development. Over the first 18 months, CPTM analyzed passenger flow at 10 existing stations, as well as 12 stations under development. The organization incorporated findings from that analysis into day-to-day operations, and technical staff undertook at least 15 additional simulation studies.


Overall, CPTM conducted passenger simulations at 22 stations, providing a visual representation of anticipated passenger behavior and identifying congested embarkation and disembarkation issues. Besides optimizing the design of future stations, passenger simulations allow CPTM to adjust configurations and features at existing stations and ensure that foot traffic moves as efficiently as possible. Improving passenger flow has prevented costly mistakes and encouraged more people to use the railway, which helped ease the use of other forms of transportation that burn fossil fuels.


With LEGION, CPTM can model fine details of passenger movement, including how passengers interact with one another, how passengers react to obstacles in the environment, and what happens when passengers walk at different speeds. CPTM can test foot traffic within any proposed design of new station construction or station renovation. LEGION also allows the organization to observe the effects of design elements such as how wide the stairways should be or where to place fare machines. Lastly, design iteration within LEGION software enables CPTM to accommodate a growing number of passengers while providing the optimum travel experience.

Project Playbook: LEGION

  • Over 3 million passengers travel through CPTM’s rail system every day, with that number expected to increase in relation to São Paulo’s population.
  • CPTM used LEGION to analyze passenger flow at 10 existing stations and 12 stations under development and incorporated its findings into day-to-day operations.
  • LEGION’s simulations helped avoid costly mistakes, improved passenger experience at existing stations, and encouraged more people to use the rail lines.
  • “CPTM's use of LEGION is strategic for the development of new station designs and helps resolve passenger flow problems at existing stations and operational situations at major events, making the application indispensable.”

    Fernando Galego Boselli Architect Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos