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Knowledge Brief
news

How technology can improve passenger flow and crowd management

13/05/2024
  • Global
  • Crowd behaviour
  • Crowd management
  • Data
  • Passenger
Passenger flow

Data and digitalisation can improve crowd management

Overcrowding, underutilisation, both issues negatively affect public transport service quality – and both have the same solution. Powered by data and digitalisation, passenger flow and crowd management is more efficient for operators and more comfortable for passengers.

And for operators, efficiency is key. Improved passenger flow is important to align capacity and operational costs with travel demand. Given that there is growing pressure on the availability of drivers, subsidies, and fare revenue, optimal resource use is crucial. With a balance of various technologies, such as real-time tracking and historical and predictive models, operators can minimise human intervention and streamline processes.

Public transport networks face a balancing act of meeting peak hour demand while ensuring passenger comfort. During peak periods, the system often operates at maximum capacity, potentially causing overcrowding. However, outside of rush hour utilisation falls to around 20%. By leveraging the right data, operating capacity can be adjusted dynamically to better match real demand and reduce unused capacity.

To guide the public transport sector through the topic, UITP has produced a new Knowledge Brief based on the expert insights of our members in the Information and Telecommunications Technology and Information Technology and Innovation Committees, as well as the Operations Platform of the Metro Committee.

“Building on the previous UITP report ‘Improving passenger flow and crowd management through technology and innovation’ published in October 2022, this Knowledge Brief presents more insights on the pivotal role of data-driven decision making and technological advancements to manage passenger flow and crowd levels in public transport.”
Efe Usanmaz
Manager of ITT and IT&I Committees, UITP
Knowledge Brief

Insights, strategies, and case studies

Optimising services to enhance efficiency has a clear return on investment. Every cent saved from a more efficient service frees up funds to boost service quality elsewhere. And at a time of intensifying demands on the sector, this is crucial!

We encourage more collaboration between industry stakeholders and public transport operators to refine solutions for the future, using the combined power of technology, expertise, and experience. Moving forward, UITP expects continuous innovation to come from this cooperation, which will in turn create a more efficient and passenger-oriented future.

“This collaborative work highlight the benefits of investing in passenger flow and crowd management; appropriate deployment of combined technologies shows that it’s good for passengers, good for operations, and good for the planet.”
Roch Muraine
Chair of ITT Committee
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