A man and a woman standing in a bus
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An onboard comfort indicator for buses, the next step in passenger information

A new congestion passenger informatio, in buses
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PostedJAN. 17, 2022
Words byKeolis
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A little, a lot or not at all? Congestion is often the first criterion for a pleasant trip. That’s why Keolis, with support from Île-de-France Mobilités (the Île-de-France region Public Transport Authority, which includes especially Paris), is testing a passenger information system to update riders in real time about the level of affluence on its buses. By featuring an onboard comfort indicator on the mobile app, the project will help passengers better plan their trips.

Context: Less congestion in transit, more onboard comfort 

The connection between onboard comfort and transit congestion has become even more clear since Covid-19: social distancing has become standard practice, so passengers want to anticipate congestion in their trips. This explains the need to provide, through passenger information, the right indicators—such as the number of passengers on board a bus—in order to help passengers to better plan their journeys.  

Innovation: congestion as a central piece of passenger information, key to improving the passenger experience  

Since January 2022, Keolis and Île-de-France Mobilités have started providing passengers with real-time congestion rates for their bus lines. In this case, two lines in the network of the city of Vélizy (in the Île-de-France region) are participating in a test based on two data collection systems :  

  • Using WiFi trace analysis (via the DotPulse solution) to determine the number of smartphones trying to connect to a WiFi signal or performing a geolocation operation 

  • Using the vehicle's "axle weight" to determine the number of passengers on board  

Collected data—which remains anonymous in compliance with GDPR—supplies a predictive artificial intelligence module that provides visual indicators of the level of affluence on board the buses. This onboard comfort indicator for vehicles in service on these two lines is available to all users on the Phebus website. 

Bus passengers who consult the route in real time on their cell phone
Bus passengers who consult the route in real time on their cell phone

Benefits: with passenger information, passengers can make more informed mobility choices to improve their onboard comfort   

With this innovation, users have a new criterion to help them choose their mobility solution and adapt their trips. Passenger information is a key part of Keolis' efforts to continuously improve the passenger experience, a goal that is driving its innovation capacity. 

Passenger scanning a QR code with her phone