Route choice is one of the main challenging problems from theoretical and practical viewpoints in the realm of pedestrian behaviour. A prime underlying concern of researchers in this field is to identify criteria or discover principles that pedestrians use to select their routes. Despite the fact that there are infinite possible routes between two given destinations in space, pedestrians in real situations tend to choose a certain finite number of available trajectories. As a consequence, there is a high demand for theoretical framework and models to describe route choice. The fundamental assumption is that pedestrians follow a route over which effort is optimized. The existing criteria in the literature to predict route choice of pedestrians are mainly related to route length and travel time. In this paper, we consider physical effort as a new criterion, which indicates the pedestrian’s metabolic energy expenditure that pedestrians may consume during their walk from origin to destination. A case study is included to illustrate the pertinent concepts and ideas introduced. Our discussion concludes with an overview of how this reconceptualization builds the foundations for a model that will enable improved operations, planning, and design of public transport facilities.
Key words: Pedestrian behavior, route choice, metabolic energy expenditure, effort, trajectory.
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