Use of passenger loading data to influence behaviour

Use of passenger loading data to influence behaviour

University of Southampton

With support from Southern and Rail Delivery Group


The aim of the research was to determine whether providing information about crowding levels or seating availability would encourage behavioural change amongst passengers. It studied the potential reactions of different groups of passengers to crowding information, and the impact of the way in which the information is presented

Some findings included:

1) Text based information about the number of seats available was more influential that colour coded graphics showing crowding levels

2) Passengers planning journeys in advance typically preferred  earlier trains, even when all trains were crowded, and the suggestion was that this was partly due to a lack of confidence in the reliability of the service.

As part of the wider TOC'15 initiative the project team is working with Govia Thameslink Railway to investigate methods of monitoring and reporting passenger loading to improve the accuracy of crowding information. This work will involve system trails on selected routes and an analysis of actual passenger responses.

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