How can reliable, high-quality information on public transport congestion be provided to improve the user experience?
Congestion on public transport is a daily issue for commuters and transport operators: “Will I be guaranteed a seat if I set off now?”; “Is the transport plan correctly calibrated to reflect current overcrowding?”; “Are the City’s departments geared up to forecast user demand?” Although analytics of digital platform usage are now commonplace, measuring crowds in physical locations is still hit-and-miss, unreliable and expensive.
at bus stop
Sopra Steria, the leading digital transformation player, joined forces with the City of Paris, Setec, SUEZ, and the startups Affluences and Geouniq to develop a solution combining innovative technologies such as video counting and micro-localisation based on Bluetooth Low Energy beacons. The aim of the challenge is to produce the first real time congestion index for public transport and, by extension, for any other public space, to provide a valuable decision support tool for transport users and operators. The challenge involves aggregating several information sources including: geolocalisation using beacons, video counting, and counting using GPS geolocalisation in order to obtain reliable metrics by cost-effective means. These historic and predictive congestion metrics are available to transport operators, local authorities and route planning apps via APIs.
Affluences is a startup specialising in measuring, predicting and communicating real-time congestion information for areas with a heavy footfall, working notably with libraries, museums, administrative departments, swimming pools and university canteens.
The experimentation zone chosen was the Porte de France bus stop on the Paris RATP route 89, which was equipped with a counting camera and beacons. This equipment made it possible to calculate the first reliable “Congestion index” for the stop. The solution means that this congestion index can be viewed on third-party apps (Affluences), is accessible to the general public, and available to B2B customers as an API tool which can be integrated with their information system (route planner app) or employed for network operation research.