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9 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW INTRODUCTION GENERAL OVERVIEW OF AUTOMATIC PASSENGER COUNTERS This chapter summarizes findings from a literature review related to transit ridership forecasting. A Transportation Several studies and articles have provided a sound overview Research Information Services search was conducted to aid of APC use and benefits. Baltes and Rey present results of the literature review. a survey of North American transit systems related to APC usage, and summarize important issues for transit systems The literature review focuses on studies completed since to consider (2). Rakebrandt summarizes the uses of APC 1998, when TCRP Synthesis Report 29: Passenger Counting data and reviews benefits and difficulties for transit systems Technologies and Procedures was published (1). (3). Jasmin and Vicente highlight the implementation of an intelligent transportation system (ITS) project at Metro in Los Angeles, noting that APCs allow service planners to use PREVIOUS SYNTHESIS current data in making route and service decisions (4). TCRP Synthesis 29 summarized information from selected transit agencies about benefits and problems associated with HOW AUTOMATIC PASSENGER COUNTER DATA ARE USED various passenger counting technologies, as reported by cur- rent users. It also presented advice for agencies considering each technology. Conclusions included the following: Furth et al. (5) has conducted extensive research into the uses of APC data. Furth was the primary author of a comprehen- Procedures are more important than technology. sive TCRP study that offered guidance on five subjects: Internal changes are necessary to ensure the success of new passenger counting technologies. Analyses that use automatic vehicle location (AVL) Visiting and learning from other agencies before APC data to improve management and performance; deciding on a new passenger counting technology are AVLAPC system design to facilitate the capture of essential. data with the accuracy and detail needed for offline Unnecessary customization should be avoided. data analysis; A strong commitment from senior management is Data structures and analysis software for facilitating required. analysis of AVL and APC data; Active management of the passenger counting system Screening, parsing, and balancing automatic passenger is critical to success. counts; and Responsibilities must be clarified. Use of APC systems for estimating passenger-miles for Advanced passenger counting technologies offer National Transit Database (NTD) reporting. several benefits, including more frequent data col- lection, analysis of ridership at finer levels of detail, Appendices to this TCRP study addressed needs, cur- greater timeliness and responsiveness, and lower cost. rent practice, and potential in relation to the use of archived However, these benefits do not accrue automatically. AVLAPC data and noted organizational barriers to suc- There is no one perfect solution. cessful use (6 ). TCRP Synthesis 29 encompassed manual (paper and pen- Furth et al. also examined critical factors in converting cil) as well as automated data collection techniques. In 1998, APC data into useful information (7 ). Several others have APC systems were still in the early adoption phase in the examined this subject, particularly in relation to performance United States. APCs have become more commonplace since monitoring. Hammerle et al. describe challenges faced by 1998, and this report focuses on new developments in auto- the Chicago Transit Authority in the use of APC and AVL mated passenger counting within the transit industry. data for service reliability indicators (8). Herrscher reports