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Understanding Behaviour through Smartcard Data-Analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Phil BlytheORCiD


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A feature of public transport smartcard systems that could greatly improve the business case for smartcard investment and deployment is the efficient utilisation of the vast amount of data gathered during operation. Each time the card is used a transaction is recorded. The transaction is essentially a snapshot of the card holder's behaviour, such as their boarding location and time. If this information were collected and analysed, there would be potential to generate a dynamic passenger profile, which could continuously update itself as the data are produced. This provides the possibility for a much more coherent and in-depth understanding of user demand. The purpose of this paper is to question the possibility of creating a service that is responsive and relevant to user needs using additional knowledge, captured through smartcard data analysis, of public transport passenger use. Creating a service based upon meeting user demands could enhance the appeal of public transport and if this results in increased ridership, it would create a more robust and sustainable business case for smartcards. It could also encourage and facilitate the modal shift that is required for the sustainable development of the transport industry.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bryan HR, Blythe PT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the ICE: Transport

Year: 2007

Volume: 160

Issue: 4

Pages: 173-178

ISSN (print): 0965-092X

ISSN (electronic): 1751-7710

Publisher: Thomas Telford Ltd


DOI: 10.1680/tran.2007.160.4.173


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