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Case Study Article

Platform safety

Protecting customers, avoiding crowded platforms, and clearing narrow passages are challenges that public transit providers face every day.

Published

11/1/2021

Platform safety

Millions of people use public transportation every day. Train stations are the entry point to mobility for this purpose. Protecting customers, avoiding overcrowded platforms and clearing narrow passages are challenges that public transport providers have to face every day.

Safety by design

Platform safety requires careful design of processes, communication and interaction workflows, and buildings and platforms. Continuous reassessment ensures that measures remain appropriate as conditions change.

Process design

Automated and clearly defined processes increase safety enormously. Alarms can either be configured to trigger an action directly, or they must be evaluated by humans before an action is taken. The image below illustrates this process chain.

Typical systems in this area include fire alarm systems, intrusion detection systems, and access control systems.

Design of communication and interaction workflows

Communication and interaction workflows are a subset of process design that directly addresses the passenger.

Clear and precise communication prevents panic and thus increases safety. Announcements can be generated either automatically or manually.

Interaction workflows require an action either on the part of the passenger or on the part of the operator. Possible actions include pressing an emergency button, calling an emergency hotline, or the operator opening gates in an emergency.

Building and platform design

The architecture of stations and platforms is crucial for safety. Passenger density is often not evenly distributed. In front of escalators, in narrow aisles or near stores, the density can be considerably higher than elsewhere. Therefore, the evaluation of platform architecture requires a special level of accuracy.

In addition to the appropriate size and placement of escalators and elevators, additional structural elements such as barriers between the platform and rails increase safety by preventing passengers from getting onto the rails.

Increasing security through video evaluation

Using surveillance cameras on platforms, Isarsoft solutions can measure the number of waiting passengers.
The measurements can be used to flexibly assign security personnel, plan construction and maintenance work, design and redesign platform architecture, and check the correct placement of stores on the platform.
Custom alarms allow operators to respond to events such as intrusions, unattended baggage or crowded platforms.

Simple setup

After installing the Isarsoft server in the data center, the setup of the Isarsoft software can be done with a few clicks.

The Isarsoft dashboard can be accessed from any browser such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. The dashboard can be displayed on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. To add an IP camera, the RTSP URL of this camera must be entered.

After that, applications such as line counting and workload counting can be added by customizing a line or rectangle. Using the drag and drop interface, this is a matter of seconds.

Powerful standalone solution

The Isarsoft Dashboard has the right analytics for public transport providers. It allows the identification of micro and macro trends depending on the desired time frame. The time interval selection includes predefined intervals such as last day, last 14 days or last year, but also allows user-defined queries to evaluate smaller intervals in the past. Multiple applications from multiple cameras can be selected to obtain aggregated statistics.

The image below shows data for a large period of time. It can be seen that the inflow, and outflow of passengers changes significantly over time. Traffic on certain days is significantly higher than on average days.

External Further Processing & System Integration

Isarsoft solutions include a GraphQL API and an interface for Excel exports.

The GraphQL API allows the count data to be transferred to other systems for further processing.

Use cases could include sending data to a datalake, integrating count data into customer apps, or combining usage data with sensor information from escalators and elevators to improve maintenance predictions.

Data scientists can also use the API to create datasets to train custom machine learning models based on the count data.

Reference: Munich subway

Isarsoft solutions are used by transport companies with the highest demands on accuracy, performance and service quality.

Patrick Chuh, project manager and responsible for the planning of the video technology at the Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG) says about Isarsoft: "The solutions of lsarsoft GmbH help us as MVG to monitor the utilization of our infrastructure, to determine passenger numbers and ultimately to specifically increase the satisfaction of our customers.
In demanding application scenarios such as the Oktoberfest, Isarsoft solutions have proven to be very helpful in daily operations. Particularly noteworthy are the high counting accuracy and fast setup of our existing camera systems."

MVG is a public transport company and the operating company for the urban subway, streetcar and city bus services in Munich. As the parent company of MVG, Stadtwerke München (SWM) is responsible for the safe transportation of around 600 million passengers a year. For this purpose, the entire route network with a total route length of over 100 kilometers as well as the vehicle fleet with 300 buses, over 100 streetcars and almost 600 subway cars must be managed and maintained or repaired accordingly. MVG's means of transport are integrated into the Munich Transport and Tariff Association (MVV), of which the Munich City Council is a shareholder.

The Oktoberfest, also known as Wiesn, is the world's largest folk festival. Over a period of two weeks, several million visitors from all over the world come to Munich to enjoy Bavarian beer and the unique atmosphere and culture on the Theresienwiese. MVG transports a large proportion of the visitors to and from the festival grounds. Especially in the evening hours on Friday and Saturday nights, the Theresienwiese subway station (U4/U5) is extremely crowded. The interval is three minutes at peak times.

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