The Impact of Metro Expansion and Automation on Driver Resources: A Case Study of the West Midlands Metro Network

Prachiti Shinde, Marin Marinov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Public transport networks are expanding while adopting automation, necessitating examination of impacts on human resources like metro drivers. This study analysed the West Midlands Metro Network to determine effects of expansion and automation on driver resources. Using data-driven probabilistic forecasting, potential automated capabilities were evaluated for a proposed metro expansion to project timelines and analyse resultant role changes for drivers. Findings indicate beginning with partial automation enables infrastructure stabilization before progressing to fully driverless systems. The graduated timeline balances technology adoption and change management. By forecasting automation phases and visualizing declining operational roles, the study provides transportation authority’s actionable insights on sustainably evolving skills and workforce needs amidst automation. Starting with partial automation allows time for measured transition support before driverless operation. The research contributes data-driven, localized projections to guide strategic planning for metro automation implementations and mitigate labour disruptions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIF Ingegneria Ferroviaria
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

This article protected by copyright. This is the author's accepted manuscript of an article published in Ingegneria Ferroviaria, shared in Aston Publications Explorer with the permission of the publisher.


  • metro automation; driver resources; metro expansion; metro organization.


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