Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

Effortless Passenger Identification System to be Studied

A new SURTC study will evaluate the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track transit passengers. The technology is referred to as the Effortless Passenger Identification System (EPIS).

The RFID tags used by EPIS can be read at longer distances than the contactless or proximity cards currently used in the industry. This characteristic allows passengers to be identified and counted as they board and alight vehicles without requiring them to physically present their card within a short distance of an on-vehicle reader. Use of the technology, which has already found a market in pupil transportation, will improve the accuracy of ridership data collection while making it easier and less time consuming for riders to pay the fare. Many transit agencies, applications, and rider segments are expected to benefit from deployment of EPIS.

The technical feasibility of the system will be tested in Southern California and North Dakota where EPIS will be evaluated under real-world and controlled conditions for different transit rider segments. A full-scale field test will be conducted with university students. Controlled testing will be done to investigate EPIS effectiveness when used by different transit rider segments. The economic feasibility of EPIS will also be evaluated by conducting a thorough cost-benefit analysis for various agency and ridership scenarios.

For more details, contact Del Peterson at

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