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Footfall Data & Analytics

The benefits of Blix foot traffic software for train networks

Australia train station.jpg

Written by Tony Loxton
Nov 13

Modern foot traffic software and people counting technology is driving change in a number of industries, and public transport is no exception. If anything, the benefits offered by foot traffic software are of particular value to public transport service providers like train networks. With high volumes of passengers making use of your service on an hourly basis, any insight into the way they interact with your network represents vital business data that can inform more efficient, more profitable operations. This blog will take a look at some of the benefits that foot traffic software provides, particularly for public transport and train networks.

What data does Blix Foot Traffic software provide?

Blix Traffic is a next-generation foot traffic software solution that uses WiFi probes from your passengers’ smartphones to provide you with an unprecedented level of customer behaviour data. In contrast to traditional people counter technology, which measures only the number of feet moving in and out of a location, Blix Traffic makes it possible to monitor how passengers move throughout your train network on an individual level and in near real-time. Train stations in particular require data from multiple sources, including:

  • Footfall data: Hourly and daily footfall rates to identify peak hours and periods of low activity.
  • Weather data: Daily weather data including temperature, wind, and rainfall.
  • Dates: Key dates that may influence passenger volumes, such as school and university terms, public holidays and major events such as sports games or concerts.

By analysing this data, operations teams are able to proactively identify times of high or low demand on your network and prepare accordingly. For example, the data might show that an upcoming international rugby match at the ANZ Stadium will result in abnormal demand on the network, and require all trains to be operational and additional staff to process the high passenger volumes. This goes a long way towards mitigating any service interruptions or delays, as well as ensuring that you aren’t over-provisioning resources and wasting money on quieter periods. As the number one reason for low customer service scores is service delays, this will also ensure that your customers are more satisfied with your service.

Modern foot traffic software benefits more than just your train network

In our age of consumerism, customers are constantly within reach of a product or service not least in public transport hubs like train stations where it’s common for commuters to purchase snacks and drinks before boarding. Foot traffic software analytics can measure the volumes of customers purchasing from in-station stores and the times at which they do so, which helps retailers identify the most lucrative times of day. With this data, station retailers can adjust to capitalise on the busiest times and increase Return on Investment (ROI) in much the same way that a retail store would measure customer conversion rates as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI).

In this way, tailoring the insights gathered from foot traffic software benefits both government transport organisations and retailers when used correctly, this symbiotic relationships mutually beneficial to the efficiency of the train station and the profit margin of station retailers.

Foot traffic software is driving change in train networks around the world

People counting technology and foot traffic software have become increasingly attractive to public transport networks around the world for the in-depth data and passenger insights it provides. Transport For London, for example, implemented a WiFi tracking trial in 2016 in an effort to use the data to improve their service and prioritise investment. TFL’s Chief Data Officer, Lauren Sager Weinstein, explains the need for WiFi people counters as follows:  “You touch in and you touch out but that meant there was a big question mark about travel within central London in particular when you have multiple different ways of travelling around the network. So we thought: Is there some potential here to use this as a data source when we have the wifi on the tube to take patterns and look at the patterns from this dataset as well?” After sharing some more data in an article on Gizmodo, TFL indicated that they plan to switch on WiFi tracking for continued use. “I don't have a specific date but we're keen to move forward on this because there is real value in it,” said Weinstein.

Blix has first-hand experience implementing foot traffic software and people counter solutions for major train networks in Sydney. If you’d like to know more about how Blix Traffic could help your train network achieve greater efficiency and profitability, visit the product page for more information.

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