Real-time automated passenger counter data enables responsiveness to periods of high and low demand for light rail.
Experience deploying automated passenger counters that transmit real-time information in response to service demand.
Made Public Date

Dallas Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Transit Vehicle Real-Time Data Demonstration: Final Report

Summary Information

The Dallas Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Transit Vehicle Real-time Data Demonstration evaluated the ability to collect and transmit transit location and passenger loading data to a transit management center(s) and/or ICM system in real time. It also demonstrated and evaluated the ability to use the data in real time in a decision support subsystem to make informed operational decisions. The Dallas ICM system is intended to provide improved integration of operation procedures, including procedures taking advantage of the data sharing capabilities of the system, and facilitate improved incident management and traveler information. The system is shared among entities involved in transportation operations and incident management in the U.S. Route 75 corridor, which includes the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) Red Line light rail service.

Included in the project were the development, installation, testing, and demonstration of on-board automated vehicle location (AVL) and automated passenger counter (APC) equipment and communications technologies supporting real-time connectivity between transit vehicles and central facilities to support applications including vehicle location, speed monitoring, and passenger load monitoring. The utility of real-time transit vehicle data was explored and assessed, and the issues, challenges, and feasibility of use were exampled.


Deployment of automated passenger counters transmitting real-time information enables Dallas Area Rapid Transit to make immediate adjustments to service in response to demand on their Red Line light rail route. The primary benefits of real-time load data are responding quickly to the needs of the system, whether adding or removing capacity to function effectively for the customer and efficiently. Some of these decisions supported by the real-time load data are:

  • Adding supplemental bus service if loads exceed capacity
  • Dispatch of additional trains if real-time data show inability to accommodate loads
  • Advertising of train capacity in the event of traffic accidents or major construction-related delays to drivers
  • Reduction of train capacity (removing cars or extra trains) if real-time load data indicate that capacity is not needed
  • Deployment of supervisors, DART ambassadors, and DART fare enforcement and police to key stations when real-time loads are unexpectedly high
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