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5 good reasons for communicating real-time passenger count on public transport

Updated: Feb 29

First and foremost, for an attendance figure to be communicated, it has to be measured! That's why you need to install one of the many people counting systems on the market.

The occupancy level of all or part of your transport network can then be communicated to passengers: at the level of a particular train, a train line, a bus, etc. This relevant information can be disseminated via multiple channels: on your screens in situ in your infrastructures, via a lighting system, on your application, on your journey simulators, on your website, on your social networks, and so on.

Whether you want to manage your passenger flows or improve customer satisfaction, communicating real-time passenger numbers on public transport to your public is the best way to do this, but it will also help you to optimise your business in other ways.

Discover 5 good reasons for communicating passenger count in your public transport system!

Provide real-time information on passenger numbers

Transport networks rarely provide real-time information on passenger numbers: in general, only information on normal passenger numbers is available. This "theoretical" information may be sufficient in normal conditions, but forecasting models are unreliable in disrupted situations. What will interest the public who regularly use a means of transport, however, is knowing the consequences of hazards, having accurate information available at those times when things don't go as usual - in short, reliable real-time information in disrupted situations.

Metro station in Lyon with different led colors to communicate occupancy
Communicating passenger count in Lyon metro

Providing passengers with a decision-making tool

By broadcasting both real-time and forecast passenger numbers, passengers can choose their route based on the estimates and decide whether to take a particular means of transport. For example, is it worth waiting two minutes and letting one or two metros go by if it's for a better journey, or are the following metros just as saturated as mine? Wouldn't it be better to choose another line? Should I sit at the head of the train rather than the tail?

This way, passengers have all the information they need to make the best decisions and travel in the best possible conditions!

Benefit from a better distribution of flows

By communicating peak times to your passengers, you can improve the distribution of your traffic across the entire transport network.

Passengers who change journeys will improve the distribution of flows. Even if 5% of passengers change journeys, this represents 450,000 people better distributed across the 9 million daily passengers on the Ile-de-France network, for example.

A better distribution of flows leads to greater fluidity for the operating teams: for example, optimised parking times (fewer hop-on, hop-off crossovers) improve the punctuality of the network.

Improved fluidity also reduces the risk of passenger incidents (disputes, discomfort, tension between network staff and passengers, etc.) and brings peace of mind and comfort!

Improving the passenger experience by communicating occupancy on public transport

Communicating passenger numbers in real time on public transport improves the distribution of flows and therefore also the passenger experience! If your passengers have this crucial information before they travel, they will be able to organise their journeys as they see fit, making them much more comfortable. They can adapt their itinerary, choose a less congested route, avoid crowds or favour off-peak times, which considerably reduces their stress and increases their comfort.

What's more, because crowds are anticipated, even if passengers decide to take the train anyway in the event of a peak, the situation will be easier to cope with - and they'll be able to make an informed choice.

In this way, you can improve your passengers' day-to-day experience of public transport, and therefore their satisfaction, simply by communicating occupancy in real time.

Communicating digitalisation and innovation to the general public

Communicating on the improvement of mobility services, thanks to the dissemination of real-time occupancy data, is important for public policies and contributes in particular to the development of MaaS (Mobility as a Service). This helps to ensure a unified service in the context of multimodality (1) and bears witness to the digitisation efforts made by operators and Organising Authorities.

The transport network can shine by showing that it is innovating in this area, that it is at the cutting edge of new technologies and that it is offering increasingly relevant solutions for passengers!

By providing accurate information on passenger numbers and improving the experience and services offered to passengers, public transport can become a more attractive option for people! The aim is to accelerate the transition to more sustainable mobility, encouraging travellers to use public transport every day to get around: a gentle, environmentally-friendly mode of transport.

Would you like to find out more about Affluences' counting solutions for the transport sector? Contact us to be put in touch with our expert on the subject.

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