What tools are used to exploit the counting data?
Equipping a transport network with an automatic passenger counting system, however efficient it may be, is not enough to have an accurate and complete picture of its passenger flow. Indeed, it is necessary to have at one’s disposal tools that allow to exploit the obtained data in an optimal way. For this, software designed specifically for APC systems is undoubtedly the most relevant to use.
Optimising the data
On the one hand, they aggregate both the counting data and the system maintenance data. This makes it possible, of course, to supervise the operation of the equipment but also to obtain reports on a particular sensor, a particular vehicle door, for example, and thus to refine its analysis if necessary.
On the other hand, it is one thing to know the overall number of passengers on a transport network, but it is quite another to analyse the flow of people. This is why counting systems are generally correlated with the transport plan and the GPS information of the vehicles. But this is still not enough. The next step is to have software that can aggregate and cross-reference these data. This makes it possible to obtain precise reports on the number of passengers per vehicle, per journey, per line or even per stop, and therefore to have a complete view of the flow of people for better analysis.
Exploitation of counting data
But that’s not all… Without adapted software and algorithms, the attendance data can quickly become inaccurate, even if the counting equipment you have invested in is efficient. Indeed, it is necessary to be able to adapt to the specificities of your transport network in order to obtain the most representative reports possible of the user flow. All public transport systems are made differently. The example of terminal management is often used, which is never the same, which can distort certain data. Many data corrections have to be made and only specific software can offer them.
In the same way, obtaining reports related to fraud on one’s transport network is not an easy task. This type of software has the capacity to do so, thanks to the cross-referencing of data from the ticketing system and those from an automatic counting system. It is then spatio-temporal mapping, historical data, real time analysis, targeting of the fraud peak, planning of control actions, etc… that can be proposed to operators.
In conclusion, for an optimal exploitation of the data coming from an automatic passenger counting system, the best solution is definitely a specific reporting software. And if any doubts persist, the next article will prove its importance once again by addressing the notion of counting data projection and the presence of AI in this type of software.