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26 Realize that good upfront training is needed. Results regarding agency satisfaction with the perfor- Train, train, and train again. mance of its APC system in terms of counting passen- gers are positive. Forty percent were very satisfied, and Survey Responses: Other--Procedures 45% were somewhat satisfied. The primary benefits of APCs included data disag- Establish and track bus assignment procedures to iden- gregated at the stop, segment, and trip levels; better tify any problems. quality of ridership data; availability of running time Make sure a crosssection of the fleet is APC- data to adjust schedules; and a better basis for decision equipped. making. Provide online assignment instructions to dispatchers Problems encountered with the APC system included to ensure correct assignments. reporting software, data processing and analysis, data Realize that integration with scheduling software is a validation, and hardware problems. One-quarter of all major factor in how the system will work. respondents reported either no problems or the usual Get prior FTA approval to use APC data for National start-up issues. Transit Database (NTD) reporting. Contract elements, procurement procedures, purchase Realize that other agencies took their lumps in getting of additional APC units, and the overall approach to approval of APC data for NTD, so you should not have APC implementation were the most frequently men- to do the same. tioned aspects of the APC process that transit agencies would like to change. Stricter contractual requirements, Survey Responses: Other--Staff and Management purchase of a complete system through a single vendor, and changes to internal procedures were all important. Realize that some employees are not so open to change. Changes to the overall approach included being more Do not get rid of all traffic checkers; they are needed informed about hardware and software choices, involv- for other purposes such as NTD. ing maintenance personnel at the start of the process, Realize that ongoing support from upper management dedicating one or more technicians to work full time on is important. APCs, completing the bus stop inventory before instal- lation, and hiring a statistician to develop a methodol- Survey Responses: Other--APC System Inputs ogy for passenger counting before vendor selection. Almost three-quarters of all survey respondents that Make sure bus stops have correct GPS coordinates and have implemented APC systems shared lessons learned route inventories are accurate. from the process. Agencies focused on use and valida- Understand the data requirements for stop matching tion of the APC data, purchase and implementation, and establish a system to generate the required data and ongoing agency maintenance in the discussion before implementation. of lessons learned. Agencies offered lessons in many areas, but the emphasis on data systems and agency procedures suggests that these areas are critical to the SUMMARY success of APC implementation. This chapter has described agency assessments of automatic The following chapter describes findings from six case passenger counter (APC) systems. Findings include the studies that explore issues related to APC implementation following: and use in greater detail.