Investigation of the Effects of Important Factors in Suburban Rail Route Determination with MCDM

Onur Öztürk*, Erkan Bozkurtoğlu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Thorough evaluation of suburban rail route alternatives is essential for determining the appropriate route. Suburban lines provide transportation services to suburban areas; that is, they provide transportation services to distant points of the city where demand is high. In this study, five alternative suburban rail routes in the commuter rail standard, starting from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge’s European exit and ending at Istanbul Airport, were determined as a sample corridor in the province of Istanbul. High-standard suburban rail routes and their infrastructure construction costs were determined, and route options were delineated according to their construction costs. Multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods were examined, including the application of the decision matrix method (DMM) and analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to rank the routes in terms of the factors examined in the study. These routes were ranked according to the construction costs and according to the DMM and AHP methods, and the results were compared. In the decision matrix application, geomorphological-geological, geotechnical, infrastructural, and environmental factors were considered in the evaluation and determination process. A solution was developed in which all aspects were weighted to indicate their relevance, and these factors contributed to the determination of the results. The AHP method was also applied, in which five criteria were included in the evaluation: geology (including geomorphology and soil properties), engineering structures, construction costs, population values addressed by the routes, and railroad length. In addition, the distances to the active faults were examined according to the Turkey Earthquake Hazard Map specified in the Turkish Building Earthquake Code (TBDY) 2018. Depending on the factors studied, the ordering of the routes was the same for all three methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-245
Number of pages13
JournalUrban Rail Transit
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


Comprehensive research and observation studies have been carried out in the area of the railway routes, which will start from the European exit of the FSM Bridge and end at the Istanbul Airport within the province of Istanbul, supported by the existing project reports and studies. Factors including ground conditions [], environmental conditions [], geological structures [], green areas [], construction [], and environment [] were investigated. Railway specifications [, ], existing reports on urban rail systems [], and studies [, ] were evaluated by combining them with the information obtained from the field study. The authors are grateful to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) for their support in data collection on the important factors in suburban rail routes.

FundersFunder number
Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences


    • Analytical hierarchy process
    • Decision matrix
    • Infrastructural factors
    • Infrastructure cost of railroad
    • Route selection
    • Suburban rail


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