Automatic Passenger Counting
Monitoring passengers on public transport vehicles such as trains, trams and busses can provide a wealth of insight into the actual service that is being provided. Bikes, luggage, adults and children can easily be verified against tickets sales, and peaks and troughs in the service can be determined along with trends in real time.
The most accurate passenger counting systems use cameras and intelligent people counters to log numbers of people getting on and off at each stop or station.
A video counting system is over 98% accurate. Compare this to manual counting where counts are out by an average of 15%.
Bikes, luggage, adults and children can easily be distinguished.
With video counting, you can easily verify the automated counts simply by watching the video back and seeing the passenger counts change.
CCTV Cameras over each door are linked to a counting unit running software which detects entries and exits. An embedded video server lets users view live video footage alongside the highly pixellated software algorithm people count, so they can accurately verify, and configure, the system over the internet. Once set up, the counts alone are sent over the network to save bandwidth.
Counts can also be stored locally.
During setup, you can watch the video remotely along with viewing the calibration software algorithms and see exactly what the system is counting thus verifying the number of passengers counted – giving confidence in the information that you are receiving. You can also securely log on and remotely control and configure the units securely.
The video analytics can be fine-tuned in software during the configuration phase. For example, the counting zone can be modified or shadows adjusted for. The software also lets users set the time period over which counts are accumulated. Users can log into the system securely over the internet to see real-time passenger information.
The counters regularly send data back to a central database, every 5 minutes if necessary. The choice of data formats includes text, CSV (comma separated variable) and MySQL, which allows the data to be easily integrated with existing systems.
Why Count Passengers?
There are many benefits to automatically counting passengers, from cost to operational reasons. Increase collected fare revenue.
The increase in fare revenue produced by cross-checking passenger numbers with issued tickets can more than pay for the system.
Save on training and employing people to manually count passengers.
Obtain information for scheduling, forecasting and service-related decisions.
Analyse key performance indicators like passengers per mile and cost per passenger.
Record times spent waiting at each stop.
Automatically generate reports.
Monitor passenger numbers over time.
Reliable data at a low cost, no matter how busy the service.
Automated passenger counting is being used by smart cities as part of their big data analytics Using the Internet-of-Things (IoT) to combine passenger counts with the pedestrian flow, vehicle counts and pollution monitoring.
This data management – acquiring, validating, storing, protecting, processing and making the information available as required – gives insight into people’s behaviour and helps make cities and towns better places to live.
Counting People around Stations. As well as counting passengers as they get on and off public transport, the counting system can also monitor passenger flow around stations and show current occupancies.
Queues can be monitored showing the number of people currently waiting and the average queuing time for example. The system will show hotspot maps of activity: know exactly how long and where people pause. See which entrances and areas have the most traffic, and at which times of the day. And, for retailers on the station, count footfall both going past and into each retail unit.
Our automated passenger counter system is saving a UK bus company thousands of pounds per bus. Automatically counting people on and off their buses enabled the company to cross-check passenger numbers with ticket machine transactions. With proof that they had more passengers than transactions, the company took steps to remedy the missing fare revenue.
A video counting system is 98% accurate – much more so than manual counting which is only around 85% accurate. It is also cheaper.
With video counting, you can easily verify the counts, simply by watching the video back. People are counted on and off the bus in, for example, five-minute intervals. Additionally, the system can record times at each stop so is well suited for service planning.
The length of time a bus waits at a stop – the dwell time – represents a significant portion of bus operation time. With automated passenger counts (APCs), bus companies can easily generate reports for external funding agencies like regional authorities. They can also monitor ridership trends over time.
An accurate passenger count is a significant factor in scheduling and forecasting. It is also important in analysing performance, giving measures like passengers per mile, cost per passenger and number of passengers per driver.
The system works using CCTV cameras linked to intelligent passenger counters. People are logged getting on and off a bus. The system regularly sends data back to a central database.
We also provide GPS location of each transportation, locations of all stops and average speed KPI’s.
Our passenger counting systems are currently providing key data on many bus routes around the UK, Europe and Singapore.