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23 CHAPTER FOUR AGENCY ASSESSMENT OF AUTOMATIC PASSENGER COUNTER SYSTEMS INTRODUCTION and trip), improved quality of the data, and the availability of running time data for schedule adjustments. This is the second of two chapters presenting the results of a survey of transit agencies regarding passenger counting. The TABLE 22 previous chapter addressed the "nuts and bolts" of how agen- Primary Benefits of APCs cies count passengers. This chapter's focus is on agencies' evaluations of automatic passenger counter (APC) systems. Agencies Responding Specific topics include agency satisfaction with current Benefit No. % methods, potential improvements, and lessons learned. Finer level of detail (stop/segment/ 14 36.8 trip) SATISFACTION WITH AUTOMATIC PASSENGER Quality of data 11 28.9 COUNTER SYSTEMS Running time data to adjust schedules 10 26.3 Table 21 shows transit agency satisfaction with the perfor- Better basis for decision making 6 15.8 mance of its APC system in terms of counting passengers. Quantity of data 6 15.8 Most respondents are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the performance of their APC system. Inter- Timeliness of data 5 13.2 estingly, 93% of agencies purchasing a stand-alone system were either very or somewhat satisfied, compared with 74% Total responding 38 100.0 of agencies purchasing APCs as part of a larger ITS procure- ment. More than half of all stand-alone agencies were very satisfied, compared with 16% of agencies involved in a larger Table 23 summarizes problems with the APC system, procurement. also representing responses to an open-ended question. The most frequently cited problems involved reporting, data pro- TABLE 21 cessing, data validation, and hardware. One-quarter of all Agency Satisfaction with APC System respondents reported either no problems or the usual start-up Performance in Terms of Counting Passengers issues. There were no differences in problems encountered by system size or type of purchase (stand-alone vs. part of a Agencies Responding larger ITS procurement). Level of Satisfaction No. % TABLE 23 Very satisfied 16 40.0 Problems Encountered with the APC System Somewhat satisfied 18 45.0 Agencies Responding Somewhat dissatisfied 2 5.0 Problem No. % Very dissatisfied 4 10.0 None/usual start-up issues 10 25.6 Total responding 40 100.0 Reports/reporting software 5 12.8 Data processing and analysis 4 10.3 Table 22 presents the primary benefits of APC for the Data validation 4 10.3 agency. These represent responses to an open-ended ques- tion. The most frequently cited benefits included availability Hardware problems 4 10.3 of data at a much finer level of detail (e.g., stop, segment, Total responding 39 100.0