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Network Science in Complex Systems Design: Use of Centrality in the Study of Railway Network Capacity Open Access

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) is a transportation enterprise servicing Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland. Commuting challenges and overall population growth has increased the overcrowding on the Metrorail, especially in the downtown Washington, D.C. area (the Core). Previously proposed solutions to alleviating passenger capacity challenges have included constructing new stations in the downtown area to allow more passengers to on- and off-load. This solution is costly and disruptive to a busy city and, in the long run, may not address the issue systemically. Applying systems engineering and network science concepts can help to strategically establish additional railway connections to augment the current railway network. In this praxis, analysis is performed to show changing the topography of the Metrorail system provides several design options that draw passenger flow away from the busy areas of the Metrorail system, thus improving the passenger flow at the Core.

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