1 February, 2016
There is no denying the fact that transportation systems are becoming more modern, hand-in-hand with the digital revolution, primarily in Europe and North America. Smart Cities are becoming popular and digital solutions, like the automatic passenger counter, are starting to be essential to provide the best services.
Nowadays, commuters have high expectations of urban transport, it has to be efficient and at the same time environmentally friendly. For this reason, governments and public transport operators are increasing their investment and reinforcing the features of means of transportation, which are becoming more connected and automated.
So, we believe it is interesting to see a few examples of cities that are focusing on creating a sustainable transportation network and the importance of having accurate ridership data to improve the service they provide.
Denmark’s largest city has the ambition of becoming the first carbon neutral capital by 2025; the “CPH 2025 Climate Plan” was adopted by the City Council, in 2009. One of the main areas is Green Mobility, and a major goal is to improve public transportation so that its usage continues to increase. In this line, the Danish National Rail operator (DSB) installed in 2012, in more than a hundred trains of the capital, free Wi-Fi and systems to make their trains more intelligent and attractive. Passengers have access to the DSB portal, where they are informed about anything related to mobility and are offered a variety of promotions and news. At the same time, operators have access to data provided by the passenger counter, which helps to create more flexible mobility and contributes to reach green growth.
Public transport in this city shines for its accessibility and connectivity, which is improving day by day; the Finnish capital aims to have a public transport network that will substitute private car usage, by 2025. Then, this will be possible thanks to technology and the integration of different means of transportation and services. Said in other words, people will be able to contract mobility through their phones, wherever and whenever they want, thanks to a public App/Webpage that would integrate the different transportation options the person has depending on some of his own preferences. Moreover, data collection is essential for this development and we know Helsinki Region Transport is already using an automatic passenger counter on its metro.
This vibrant and fast-growing Québecois city has developed an action plan to become a world leader among smart cities. One of the goals is to conquer intelligent mobility and with the plan called “Vision 2020” created by the Agence Métropolitaine de Transport and adopted by the Quebec Minister of Transportation, users will have access to all data on mobility, and the set up of smart, intermodal and integrated transportation systems will be consolidated. Furthermore, other initiatives that will be implemented to promote sustainability and economic growth are to create public WiFi hotspots in municipal facilities, commercial corridors, the underground city, etc. Help emerging businesses on the Smart City sector, by hosting a Smart City accelerator, with workshops and pitch sessions among others, encouraging open data usage and the creation of applications and solutions, etc.
According to Juniper’s Smart City Rankings of 2015, Barcelona was classified as the leader according to its capabilities to be smart and the city has recently implemented strong environmentally sustainable initiatives. One of the main areas of Barcelona’s smart city plan is Intelligent Mobility. For instance, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona started the implementation of a new bus network, which is more efficient, and better connects all parts of the city; this progressive change started taking place in 2012. Moreover, the number of hybrid and electric buses has considerably increased in the last two years. We can also confirm that multiple public transports in Barcelona’s metropolitan area use the automatic passenger counter.
Finally, we can say the automatic passenger counter is one of the tools to improve the overall public transport mobility. They provide operators a big amount of data that can be used to monitor their service and then, they have the ability to improve it drastically by better understanding their consumers’ behavior. Although, creating prediction models is not always easy, with the data and indicators APCs provide, demand can be better understood and a diversity of independent variables, such as weather or puntual events, can be taken into account in order to predict passengers’ behavior. So, it is safe to affirm APCs are one of the key solutions to exceed passenger’s expectations.
So to conclude, we want to highlight that governments, transport operators and Counterest have the common objective to enhance passengers’ experience by using and creating data that fuels the development.
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