Farecard Passenger Flow Model at Chicago Transit Authority, Illinois


Adam B. Rahbee

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail


Rapid transit, Rail transit, Passenger flow models, Origin and destination, O&D, Magnetic farecards, Heavy rail transit, Chicago Transit Authority, Automatic data collection systems, Algorithms


A system using farecard data at the Chicago Transit Authority in Chicago, Illinois, to estimate rail passenger flows within the rail rapid transit network has been validated and used for several planning and analysis purposes. The system, which derives destinations for entry-only rail farecard users, is an enhanced version of the New York City Transit farecard origin–destination model. Enhancements include algorithmic changes to improve destination inference, greater time period granularity, enhanced sampling techniques, and path assignment to individual scheduled trips. Applications of the model outputs, including its use in lieu of passenger counts, are illustrated.