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Center for Transportation Studies

Webinar Available


Improving Transit System Performance with the Benefit of Automatic Data-Collection Systems

Part of the Advanced Transportation Technologies Seminar Series — 2008 For more information, contact Shawn Haag at the ITS Institute, 612-625-5608 or

November 4

Nigel Wilson [bio]
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

3:30–4:30 p.m., Rm 1130, Mechanical Engineering Building, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis [map]

Recent developments in computer and communications technology have resulted in significant advances in, and deployment of, automated data collection systems in urban public transport. Though most of these systems are designed for specific functions such as fare collection, vehicle tracking, and passenger counting, collectively they offer substantial new opportunities to improve the quality of data available for planning and evaluating the performance of individual services as well as the entire public transport system.

Nigel Wilson's seminar presentation will describe several recent applications in which data from these systems are used to characterize passenger travel and service quality. These applications focus on two large urban public transport systems: the London Underground and the Chicago Transit Authority bus network. However, the methods presented are more widely applicable and have the potential to significantly enhance the performance of public transport systems as automatic data collection systems are deployed in many parts of the world.