Data Collection and Analysis for Public Transport

By WRI India Sustainable Cities

This report discusses in brief field based as well as technology based survey techniques, which can be administered to gain more understanding of issues like travel patterns, travel behaviour, ways to increase ridership etc.

Field based surveys include observational surveys and passenger interviews. While observational surveys measure the system as it currently exists; many times it is necessary to understand the changes in travel behaviour due to changes in the operating systems. In such cases it is necessary to conduct passenger surveys. Passenger surveys have been the main stay of many successful public transport agencies especially on-board and intercept surveys. Demographic and socio-economic surveys, perception surveys, attitude surveys etc are some examples of passenger surveys.

With the increase in the use of technology, technology based surveys are gaining popularity. Electronic Ticketing Machines (ETM’s) can be used to obtain temporal or spatial variation in ridership, information about type of passenger (student, pass user, senior citizen) etc. Similarly, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), smart cards, transponders etc can also be used to obtain information about transit and passenger characteristics.

If you have any questions or comments, or would like to know more about this research, contact Srikanth Shastry at