Estimation of Origin and Destination Information from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Sensing for Transit

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

technology - passenger information, technology - intelligent transport systems, technology - geographic information systems, ridership - behaviour, place - urban, place - universities, mode - bus, planning - network design


Public urban transit, origin and destination patterns, Bluetooth, wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi)


Public urban transit offers a convenient, affordable, and sustainable mode of transportation for many. However, limited subsidies and revenue collected from bus fares place restrictions on the number of bus lines that can operate; these restrictions in turn limit the number of individuals who can benefit from public transit. To make well-informed operational decisions for transit planning and operations, understanding the origin and destination patterns of riders is crucial. However, traditional methods of transit data collection are labor-intensive and costly. Although some transit agencies use data from smart card transactions to obtain trip origin information readily, the trip destination information cannot be directly inferred. To aid in transit data acquisition efforts, this study presents a new technique that uses the Bluetooth and wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) sensing technologies to estimate the origin and destination information for transit lines. Sensors were installed on four buses to collect Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS location data for a 4-week period. New methods for data processing and reduction were introduced to exclude invalid detections. On the basis of valid samples, the origin and destination information at different bus stops was estimated for a university operated transit line. The developed methods have the potential to be applied for large-scale transit networks.


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