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TCRP transit cooperative Research Program Synthesis 77 Passenger Counting Systems Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration A Synthesis of Transit Practice

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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2008 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* SELECTION COMMITTEE* CHAIR OFFICERS ROBERT I. BROWNSTEIN AECOM Consult, Inc. Chair: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Vice Chair: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, MEMBERS Berkeley ANN AUGUST Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority MEMBERS JOHN BARTOSIEWICZ McDonald Transit Associates J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY MICHAEL BLAYLOCK ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg Jacksonville Transportation Authority JOHN D. BOWE, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA LINDA J. BOHLINGER LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson HNTB Corp. DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern RAUL BRAVO Raul V. Bravo & Associates Corporation, Norfolk, VA GREGORY COOK WILLIAM A.V. CLARK, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles Veolia Transportation DAVID S. EKERN, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond TERRY GARCIA CREWS NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, StarTran University of Virginia, Charlottesville NATHANIEL P. FORD, JR. JEFFREY W. HAMIEL, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN SF Municipal Transportation Agency EDWARD A. (NED) HELME, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC KIM R. GREEN GFI GENFARE WILL KEMPTON, Director, California DOT, Sacramento JILL A. HOUGH SUSAN MARTINOVICH, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City North Dakota State University MICHAEL D. MEYER, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia ANGELA IANNUZZIELLO Institute of Technology, Atlanta ENTRA Consultants MICHAEL R. MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, JOHN INGLISH Arlington Utah Transit Authority NEIL J. PEDERSEN, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore JEANNE W. KRIEG PETE K. RAHN, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority DAVID A. LEE SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Connecticut Transit TRACY L. ROSSER, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR CLARENCE W. MARSELLA ROSA CLAUSELL ROUNTREE, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Denver Regional Transportation District Atlanta GARY W. MCNEIL HENRY G. (GERRY) SCHWARTZ, JR., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO GO Transit C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of MICHAEL P. MELANIPHY Texas, Austin Motor Coach Industries FRANK OTERO LINDA S. WATSON, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando PACO Technologies STEVE WILLIAMS, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR KEITH PARKER Charlotte Area Transit System EX OFFICIO MEMBERS MICHAEL SCANLON THAD ALLEN (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC San Mateo County Transit District BEVERLY SCOTT JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, JAMES S. SIMPSON Smyrna, GA FTA PAUL R. BRUBAKER, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT JAMES STEM GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn, and Foreign United Transportation Union Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC FRANK TOBEY SEAN T. CONNAUGHTON, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT First Transit LEROY GISHI, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department EX OFFICIO MEMBERS of the Interior, Washington, DC WILLIAM W. MILLAR EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC APTA JOHN H. HILL, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR. JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway TRB and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC JOHN C. HORSLEY CARL T. JOHNSON, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT AASHTO THOMAS J. MADISON, JR. J. EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space FHWA Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS THOMAS J. MADISON, JR., Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC LOUIS SANDERS NICOLE R. NASON, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT APTA JAMES S. SIMPSON, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT SECRETARY ROBERT A. STURGELL, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS ROBERT L. VAN ANTWERP (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, TRB U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of September 2008. *Membership as of September 2008.

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 77 Passenger Counting Systems A Synthesis of Transit Practice Consultant DANIEL BOYLE Dan Boyle and Associates San Diego, California S ubject A reas Public Transit Research Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in Cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation Transportation Research Board Washington, D.C. 2008 www.TRB.org

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP SYNTHESIS 77 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environ- Project J-7, Topic SA-18 mental, and energy objectives place demands on public tran- ISSN 1073-4880 sit systems. Current systems, some of which are old and in ISBN 978-0-309-09819-9 need of upgrading, must expand service area, increase service Library of Congress Control Number 2008908990 frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating problems, to adapt 2008 Transportation Research Board appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit COPYRIGHT PERMISSION Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Spe- the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used cial Report 213--Research for Public Transit: New Direc- herein. tions, published in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Trans- Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material portation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in successful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropri- undertakes research and other technical activities in response ate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced mate- to the needs of transit service providers. The scope of TCRP rial. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human NOTICE resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Tran- Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP sit Cooperative Research Program conducted by the Transportation was authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transpor- Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the tation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a National Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with respect memorandum agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. was executed by the three cooperating organizations: FTA, the The members of the technical advisory panel selected to moni- National Academy of Sciences, acting through the Transpor- tor this project and to review this report were chosen for recognized tation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions organization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed forming the independent governing board, designated as the the research, and while they have been accepted as appropriate by the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. technical panel, they are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited peri- Research Board, the Transit Development Corporation, the National odically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. Research Council, or the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Committee to formulate the Department of Transportation. research program by identifying the highest priority projects. Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the tech- As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Committee defines fund- nical panel according to procedures established and monitored by the ing levels and expected products. Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Govern- Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, ing Board of the National Research Council. appointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide tech- The Transportation Research Board of The National Academies, the nical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. Transit Development Corporation, the National Research Council, and The process for developing research problem statements and the Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in man- Research Program) do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered aging cooperative research programs since 1962. As in other essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Published reports of the Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM on disseminating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: transit agencies, service providers, and suppli- are available from: ers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of Transportation Research Board transit practice, and other supporting material developed by Business Office TCRP research. APTA will arrange for workshops, training 500 Fifth Street, NW aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are Washington, DC 20001 implemented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can and can be ordered through the Internet at cooperatively address common operational problems. The http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Printed in the United States of America

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initia- tive, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sci- ences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and prog- ress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdis- ciplinary, and multimodal. The Board's varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation depart- ments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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TCRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT J-7 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS STAFF CHRISTOPHER W. JENKS, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs DWIGHT A. FERRELL, GWEN CHISHOLM SMITH, Senior Program Officer Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority EILEEN DELANEY, Director of Publications MEMBERS TCRP SYNTHESIS STAFF DEBRA W. ALEXANDER STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Special Capital Area Transportation Authority, Lansing, MI Programs MARK W. FURHMANN JON M. WILLIAMS, Associate Director, IDEA and Synthesis Metro Transit, MinneapolisSt. Paul, MN Studies ROBERT H. IRWIN DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer Consultant, Calgary, AB, Canada DON TIPPMAN, Editor CHERYL KEITH, Senior Program Assistant DONNA KELSAY San Joaquin Regional Transit District, Stockton, CA PAUL J. LARROUSSE TOPIC PANEL Rutgers,The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick FABIAN CEVALLOS, Florida International University WADE LAWSON KATHRYN COFFEL, Kittelson and Associates, Portland, OR South Jersey Transportation Authority, Atlantic City THOMAS FRIEDMAN, King County (WA) Metro Transit JOEL KOFFMAN, Ottawa, ON, Canada DAVID LEE HENRY KWEE, Akron, Ohio Connecticut Transit, Hartford PETER SHAW, Transportation Research Board FRANK T. MARTIN STEVEN SILKUNAS, Southeastern Pennsylvania PSB&J, Tallahassee, FL Transportation Authority DAVID PHELPS CHARLENE WILDER, Federal Transit Administration LTK Engineering Services, Moneta, VA (Liaison) LOUIS F. SANDERS, American Public Transportation HAYWARD M. SEYMORE, III Association (Liaison) Q Straint, University Place, WA PAM WARD Ottumwa Transit Authority, Ottumwa, IA JOEL R. WASHINGTON Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC FTA LIAISON LISA COLBERT Federal Transit Administration TRB LIAISON PETER SHAW Transportation Research Board Cover Figure: Ride connection passenger transfers from TriMet bus to shuttle.

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FOREWORD Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which informa- tion already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and prac- tice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviat- ing the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the transit industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire transit community, the Transit Cooperative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-7, "Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems," searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP report series, Synthesis of Transit Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, with- out the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE The purpose of this synthesis is to document the state of the practice in terms of analytical By Donna Vlasak tools and technologies for collecting transit ridership and other subsidiary data. It provides advice for transit agencies considering automatic passenger counter (APC) systems. Sur- Senior Program Officer vey results include transit agency assessments of the effectiveness and reliability of their Transportation methodologies and of desired improvements. The survey was designed to emphasize APC Research Board systems; however, agencies using manual systems were also surveyed to gain an under- standing of the reasons that new technologies have not been adopted. Detailed findings from six case studies characterize individual "best practice," as well as highlight problems common to APC implementation. An appendix summarizes APC implementation, includ- ing the percentage of vehicles equipped with APCs, hardware supplier, software supplier, and the procurement process for each agency. This report was accomplished through a review of the relevant literature, a web-based survey of a cross section of transit agencies in North America, and telephone interviews conducted with key personnel at six transit agencies to profile innovative and successful practices and to explore ongoing issues. Surveys were received from 56 transit agencies; a response rate of 73%. Additionally, 45 agencies responded to a broad-based invitation to par- ticipate in the survey, for a total of 86 agencies. These 86 agencies range in size from having 10 to more than 2,000 buses in operation. Daniel Boyle, Dan Boyle and Associates, San Diego, California, collected and synthe- sized the information and wrote the paper, under the guidance of a panel of experts in the subject area. The members of the Topic Panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.

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Contents 7 Chapter One Introduction Project Background and Objectives, 7 Technical Approach, 7 Organization of the Report, 8 9 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction, 9 Previous Synthesis, 9 General Overview of Automatic Passenger Counters, 9 How Automatic Passenger Counter Data Are Used, 9 Automatic Passenger Counting Data and Modeling, 10 Data Processing, 10 Data Integration, 10 Implementation of Automatic Passenger Counting Systems, 10 Related Technologies, 11 Summary, 11 12 CHAPTER THREE RIDERSHIP and TRAVEL TIME DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Introduction, 12 Why Collect Ridership and Travel Time Data, 12 Means of Collecting Ridership Data, 13 Use of Automatic Passenger Counters at Transit Agencies, 14 Automatic Passenger Counting Data: Processing, Validating, and Reporting, 15 Organization and Resource Requirements, 18 Summary, 20 23 CHAPTER FOUR AGENCY ASSESSMENT OF AUTOMATIC PASSENGER COUNTER SYSTEMS Introduction, 23 Satisfaction with Automatic Passenger Counter System, 23 Lessons Learned from Survey Responses, 24 Summary, 26 27 CHAPTER FIVE CASE STUDIES Introduction, 27 OC Transpo (OttawaCarleton Regional Transit Commission)--Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 27 RTD (Regional Transportation District)--Denver, Colorado, 29 NFTA (Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority)--Buffalo, New York, 31 RTC (Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County)--Reno, Nevada, 33 Metro Transit--Madison, Wisconsin, 34 TriMet (Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District)--Portland, Oregon, 35 38 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE STUDY Introduction, 38 Automatic Passenger Counter Implementation, 38 Automatic Passenger Counter Data: Processing, Validating, and Reporting, 38 Agency Assessments of Automatic Passenger Counting Systems, 39 Lessons Learned, 39 Conclusions and Areas of Future Study, 40

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42 References 44acronyms 45 APPENDIX A TCRP SYNTHESIS SURVEY: PASSENGER COUNTING TECHNOLOGIES 57 APPENDIX B TCRP SYNTHESIS SURVEY RESULTS 69 APPENDIX C LIST OF PARTICIPATING TRANSIT AGENCIES 71 APPENDIX D AGENCIES AND AUTOMATIC PASSENGER COUNTER MANUFACTURERS