Title

AUTOMATIC PASSENGER COUNTER EVALUATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR NATIONAL TRANSIT DATABASE REPORTING

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2003

Subject Area

economics - appraisal/evaluation, mode - bus, mode - subway/metro

Keywords

Video cameras, TriMet (Portland, Oregon), Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Ridership, Reports, Random sampling, Precision, Patronage (Transit ridership), Passenger counting, National transit database, Camcorders, Bus usage, Bus travel, Automatic passenger counting, Accuracy

Abstract

Findings from a study assessing the accuracy and precision of automatic passenger counter (APC) technology at Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Tri-Met) are presented. Video surveillance cameras, rather than ride checkers, were used to establish reference values for determining APC accuracy and precision. Analysis of data collection, processing, and reporting methods at Tri-Met indicates that APC data, along with a properly designed sampling plan, can be used for internal monthly ridership reporting and annual national transit database (NTD) reporting. Presently, NTD sampling plans require that bus trips be randomly selected before manual data collection efforts. The sampling methodology developed for this analysis allows APC data to be matched with a random selection of bus trips following automated data collection. This was made possible by the widespread deployment of APC technology at Tri-Met. For transit properties with limited APC resources, other sampling approaches are preferred.