Use of Smart Card Fare Data to Estimate Public Transport Origin–Destination Matrix

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, technology - ticketing systems, technology - passenger information, ridership - behaviour, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, infrastructure - stop


smart card fare data, origin–destination (O-D) matrices, public transport


Over the past few years, several techniques have been developed for using smart card fare data to estimate origin–destination (O-D) matrices for public transport. In the past, different walking distance and allowable transfer time assumptions had been applied because of a lack of information about the alighting stop for a trip. Such assumptions can significantly affect the accuracy of the estimated O-D matrices. Little evidence demonstrates the accuracy of O-D pairs estimated with smart card fare data. Unique smart card fare data from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, offered an opportunity to assess previous methods and their assumptions. South East Queensland data were used to study the effects of different assumptions on estimated O-D matrices and to conduct a sensitivity analysis for different parameters. In addition, an algorithm was proposed for generating an O-D matrix from individual user transactions (trip legs). About 85% of the transfer time was nonwalking time (wait and short activity time). More than 90% of passengers walked less than 10 min to transfer between alighting and the next boarding stop; this time represented about 10% of the allowable transfer time. A change in the assumed allowable transfer time from 15 to 90 min had a minor effect on the estimated O-D matrices. Most passengers returned to within 800 m of their first origin on the same day.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.