Footfall Analytics

How Footfall Analytics can ease commuter congestion in public transport hubs

Written by Brett Stephenson
Nov 1

By 2050, the number of vehicles on the world’s transport networks is expected to exceed 2.5 billion. The amount of new vehicles on the road is increasing steadily, particularly in the developing world: China, for example, was already adding as many as 1,500 new cars to its roads every day according to a study by IBM conducted in 2014. As populations increase around the world and transport infrastructure struggles to cater to ever-increasing numbers of commuters, the need for intelligent systems to manage these vast numbers as methodically and disruption-free as possible is becoming critical. Public transport plays an integral role in Australian society, and addressing this is particularly important for Australian transportation firms.

This blog will take a look at the reality of passenger management in public transportation hubs a few years in the future, and how technologies like footfall analytics and people counters can ease congestion and improve operations in this regard.

How data is helping to build more intelligent transportation systems

Industries of all kinds, in all corners of the globe, are waking up to the potential of big data to redefine their operations. Public transport is no exception. Singapore’s Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng announced plans to use big data and analytics to improve the reliability of the country’s train network and allow bus operators to track the location of their buses more accurately. The ultimate goal is to also include private transport data in an effort to aggregate all transport data in real-time.

Here’s just a small example of some of the applications of smarter, data-driven transport infrastructure:

  • Automation of maintenance schedules to avoid vehicle breakdowns

Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) technology are making it ever easier to synchronise data between vehicles and your back-end systems. With this comes the ability to automate maintenance schedules at particular intervals or based on certain triggers, minimising the chance of breakdowns and the resulting impact to transport schedules and commuter congestion in transport hubs.

  • Traffic and congestion data in real-time can help plan more efficient routes

The wealth of data that services like Google Maps provide makes it possible for public transport companies to identify problems with a chosen route in real-time, and adjust accordingly to reduce delay times. Using predictive analytics, it’s even possible to flag specific times or areas that may experience high levels of traffic and plan an alternate route in case. This in turn will minimise the number of passengers waiting for delayed vehicles in public transport hubs and ease congestion.

The benefits of footfall analytics and people counters in public transport hubs

With the latest generation of people counter technology, it’s possible to get more accurate data than ever before about the number of people entering and exiting any location. Blix Traffic, for example, is a WiFi-based people counter that uses the probes generated by customers’ mobile phones to determine how people are moving in, out and around a store, public transport facility or dealership. And, because each device has its own unique identifier, it’s possible to track individual customers over time to see how often they come back to your location. Footfall analytics have traditionally only provided approximate numbers, and aren’t able to account for repeat customers, or the amount of time each customer spends in a location. WiFi-based people counters, on the other hand, give you enough information to understand the context surrounding the data, which helps you go deeper into the insights gained from your footfall analytics efforts and make more informed decisions.

If you’d like to know more about how footfall analytics solutions like Blix Traffic can help public transport hubs reduce congestion and improve both their operational efficiency and customer experience, check this link below for more information:

 Learn more about Blix Traffic for Transportation

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