Especially in the cold and wet seasons, the question arises whether existing shelters for passengers, customers and employees offer sufficient space or whether investments should be made in new stops or shelters. To be able to determine the need, we propose a basis for calculation.
The need for space has always been a question of personal space. After all, it is uncomfortable to have to squeeze into a small space. The covid epidemic has also shown that infection control by maintaining a minimum distance between people meeting each other also plays an important role.
So how do you find out if there is enough weather-protected space for everyone? How many people can comfortably fit under a waiting shelter or canopy? A DIN standard for public transport can be used for the calculation. The advantage of this is that both accessibility and distance requirements can be met.
Accessibility as a benchmark
Disabilities are manifold and much more widespread than many people think. According to the Road and Transportation Research Association (FGSV), almost one in three citizens can be counted among the group of mobility-impaired and disabled people, at least some of the time. Accessibility does not only concern people with permanent sensory, mental or motor impairments: The elderly, parents with small children or people returning from a skiing holiday with luggage, prams or a cast on their leg can also be restricted in their mobility.
For space and area requirements for people with limited mobility at public transport stops, DIN 18040-3 specifies the following: wheelchair users should have at least 1.8 m of space to meet other waiting people and at least 1.5 m for a change of direction. The required possible movement radius of 1.8 m is slightly above the safety distance recommended to avoid contagions such as influenza or COVID-19. Thus it represents the minimum space requirement for people who are in ventilated buildings such as bus stops and smoking shelters. This ensures both accessibility and the required minimum distance for infection control.
How many people can fit?
A minimum distance of 1.8 m is obtained by imagining two circles with a diameter of 0.9 m each, which touch but do not intersect each other, around two persons. This calculation would result in a minimum area of 2.5 m2 that must be available per person. However, this necessary area is reduced, for example, if one person stands in the canopy corner. They would then only need a quarter of this area, i.e. 0.6 m2. If, on the other hand, the person stands in the middle of the back wall, the required space is halved to 1.25 m2.
Our suggestion is to take the average of these space requirements, which is 1.45 m2. Rounded up, we therefore recommend calculating with 1.5 m2 of sheltered base area per person. With this value, it can be ensured that both infection control and DIN 18040-3 are taken into account and that the people using the shelter feel comfortable.