Restoring Public Confidence in a COVID-Recovering World

As society starts to re-open, more people are relying on public transit to get around again, and physical distancing has become the “new normal.” 

A recent survey by RTD Denver  of 2,400 of their riders found that a big concern of theirs is “observance of social distancing on vehicles”.  While many agencies - and riders - across the world are facing the same challenges, the answers are becoming clearer. Crowd management can be achieved and even mitigated by using the right tools.

Understanding the passenger load of your buses is an important task for several reasons. Creating a safe environment on platforms and inside vehicles will not only aid in preventing the spread of sickness, but will also restore passenger confidence and reliance in  public transit. Seeing  real-time load data benefits agencies and their operators by allowing them to improve safety conditions for themselves, as well as  their riders.

Real-time passenger counting allows you to view the occupancy rates of a bus or train, control passenger loads in real-time, and display the information to passengers, e.g. in a passenger information app or on a display. Agencies with an INIT Automatic Passenger Counting (APC) system, MOBILE-PLAN software, and MOBILE-ITCS based on cellular radio are able to achieve this within a 2-month implementation timeframe.

How it works:

  • The dispatcher receives information about the vehicle load in MOBILE-ITCS.
  • The occupancy rate of the vehicle is calculated in the INIT onboard unit and communicated to the dispatcher after each vehicle stop.
  • Dispatchers can see all the vehicles in the system, along with their passenger loads, and control how many people are onboard a vehicle.
  • A “drop off only” message can be displayed on the head sign to alert passengers waiting at a stop, and the information can also be displayed in third-party passenger apps or INIT’s passenger information app, DEPARTURESlive.


Real-time passenger load information allows agencies greater control over rider safety and gives passengers the opportunity to make informed decisions on which vehicle they feel comfortable riding. In times like these, being able to take control and successfully manage situations will make all the difference moving forward. The future of mobility is in our hands, and we have the tools to ensure it will be carried out safely and efficiently.  Ready to learn more about real-time passenger counting?

  • Click here to discover more about how we can support your cleaning processes during COVID-19. 
  • Learn about how we are helping customers during the pandemic. 

Blog & Podcast