Automatic passenger counting will help operators around the world to better understand passenger flow and behaviour in trams, buses or trains. Just understanding how many people left the vehicle at a certain stop, is not enough. The more details an operator knows, the more can be optimized. If an operator knows that there are certain bottlenecks during a specific time-frame at certain stations, the operator can very quickly start to do something about the issue, in order to regain passenger satisfaction. This way operational planning becomes faster and in the end will save money for the operator but also increase passenger satisfaction.
Different Solutions There are many different passenger counting technologies on the market. Some of them are based on optical recognition, when others again use infrared technology. Which one is better, has been debated for quite some time. From the operator perspective, the main questions should be, before deciding the technology: - How high should the accuracy be? - What other statistical functions do I need, except just basic passenger counting? - Does the passenger counters need to be connected to other systems, like ticketing? - Should the counting be real-time or not?
Let’s look at these questions one-by-one, and understand what is behind them, and how can they be solved.
How high should the accuracy be? As said before, there are many different passenger counting technologies on the market. With some cheap devices you can reach an accuracy of around 60%, but then you need to accept that only basic understanding of passenger behaviour can be seen. With the newest designs, you can have an accuracy of over 95%! With this accuracy you understand much more about passenger flow and behaviour.
What other statistical functions you might need? With an accurate device, the collected data can be trusted. If the collected data includes many different parameters (like number of passengers in/out at stations, line #, time stamps, the amount of time from door opening to closing/door etc.), then it is quite easy to start to analyse the big picture, and start to make conclusions how to fine-tune certain areas.
Does the counting system need to be connected to other systems? It is possible to connect the counting system to other systems like ticketing Also you can start analysing how many people actually bought a ticket before entering a train, and how many took a ride without paying anything.
Should the counting be in real-time or not? Again, this is a question of preference. Some of the sensors on the market support real-time counting, but then again you have to take into account, that the data communication link from the train or bus, should always be active. In a metro train this might be challenging, when again trains, buses or trams which do not go into tunnels that often are not a problem.
To install a passenger counting device is quite easy. You can install it in almost any bus, train or tram, as the space needed is very small. The counters are connected using Ethernet cables to an Ethernet switch, which is then connected to a router or another similar device, which is then able to send the data from the vehicle to the depot for further analysis.
Summary Passenger counting is an easy and cost effective way to understand much better where, when and how passengers are entering or leaving a vehicle. With accurate data on hand, an operator can make decisions to fine-tune or even change something on specific lines, in order to have a smoother and faster passenger flow. In the end this creates better passenger satisfaction, but also saves money for the operator.
If you need any further information, do not hesitate to contact Amaronia Rail Ltd. at firstname.lastname@example.org