A two-stage method for bus passenger load prediction using automatic passenger counting data

Pengfei Wang, Xuewu Chen, Jingxu Chen, Mingzhuang Hua, Ziyuan Pu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In high-frequency transit, providing real-time crowding information (RTCI) is a potential way to promote passenger satisfaction and reduce negative crowding externalities, by assisting passengers in choosing less crowded vehicles. To make RTCI convincing and reliable, it is necessary to provide predictive RTCI, in which bus passenger load (BPL) prediction is the primary problem. This paper proposes a novel two-stage BPL prediction method using automatic passenger counting (APC) data. The first stage is to predict short-term passenger flows at stops based on an adaptive Kalman filter approach. Using the outputs from the first stage as well as other variables directly from APC data, the second stage is to predict BPL based on a support vector regression algorithm. Several methods from the existing literature are used as benchmarks to test the relative performance of the proposed method. An empirical study on bus line 1 in Suzhou, China shows that the proposed method outperforms all the benchmarks, and shows significant superiority over other methods for stops with sharp increases in BPL and for multi-step ahead prediction. This study contributes to the limited literature on BPL prediction and lays the foundation for providing accurate and reliable predictive RTCI in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-260
Number of pages13
JournalIET Intelligent Transport Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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