Clustering Smart Card Data for Urban Mobility Analysis

Smart card data gathered by automated fare collection (AFC) systems are valuable resources for studying urban mobility. In this paper, the authors propose two approaches to cluster smart card data, which can be used to extract mobility patterns in a public transportation system. Two complementary standpoints are considered: a station-oriented operational point of view and a passenger-focused one. The first approach clusters stations based on when their activity occurs, i.e., how trips made at the stations are distributed over time. The second approach makes it possible to identify groups of passengers that have similar boarding times aggregated into weekly profiles. By applying their approaches to a real data set issued from the metropolitan area of Rennes, France, the authors illustrate how they can help reveal valuable insights about urban mobility, such as the presence of different station key roles, including residential stations used mostly in the mornings and work stations used only in the evening and almost exclusively during weekdays, as well as different passenger behaviors ranging from the sporadic and diffuse usage to typical commute practices. By cross comparing passenger clusters with fare types, the authors also highlight how certain usages are more specific to particular types of passengers.


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  • Accession Number: 01631489
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TLIB, TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 30 2017 5:09PM