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Catching The Right Tram, At The Right Time

27 September 2016

New video technology is being trialled on Melbourne’s tram network that could be rolled out in the future to tell passengers how many people are on approaching trams.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said the trial is investigating technology that could help passengers choose whether to take the first tram that comes along, or wait for one arriving shortly after that may have more space.

For the first time, the cameras can determine the capacity of trams and tram stops in real time by converting video images into head counts. The technology provides non-identifiable data that in the future might be integrated into existing mobile applications.

Information from the trial could also be used to build a better understanding of how people use the tram network, and determine which routes and time of day, services are busiest.

Cameras have been installed on-board a route 96 tram, as well as on the St Kilda bound platform at three high patronage stops:

  • On Bourke Street at William Street
  • On Bourke Street at Spencer Street
  • On Spencer Street at Collins Street.

The trial is part of a showcase of new technologies at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, in Melbourne between 10-14 October.

Information technology is increasingly important for passengers planning their trips. Public Transport Victoria’s stand will show how this type of data can provide passengers with more real-time information, to make better informed decisions about their journey.

No personally identifiable information will be collected through this trial.

Quotes attributable to Acting Premier Jacinta Allan

“We want to give passengers the information they need to better plan their journey and get where they need to sooner.”

“We know particular services are more crowded than others, and this trial could give passengers the ability to decide what works best for them.”

“This cutting edge technology will help us determine which routes require more frequent services, or greater capacity in the future.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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