Approaches, technologies and importance of analysis of the number of train travellers
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionUrban, Planning and Transport Research. 2019, 7 (1), 1-18. 10.1080/21650020.2019.1566022
Several studies have pointed to the difficulties of obtaining good data on train ridership. This paper is a literature review on how the number of travellers on trains are measured, including technologies and practices for measuring actual ridership. There are a number of publications and practical work done on estimating ridership. We find there are several technologies that can be applied for measuring ridership on trains. The technologies and approaches include (1) Manual counts and surveys, (2) On-board sensors such as door passing, weight, CCTV and Wi-Fi-use, (3) Ticketing systems, ticket sales or ticket validation, and (4) Tracking of travellers for larger part of the journey, e.g. by mobile phones and payments. Data from on-board sensors and ticketing systems are both managed by public transportation providers. By contrast, surveys, payments statistics and mobile phone data may be available to stakeholders outside the public transportation system, which can be an advantage, as access to ridership data can be an issue for business reasons. Furthermore, mobile phone data appears as an interesting option, as they can track complete journeys. New technologies, and especially mobile phone data, are therefore of special interest in future uses of ridership data for evaluations and quality assessments.