Dutch railways release app to find empty seat
Dutch railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has released its app to inform passengers whether a train is crowded or not, as was announced in July 2017. Travelers can see on their smartphone in which carriage there still are empty seats and which carriages are full.
At this moment the app is only operational on the line between Arnhem and Den Bosch (Netherlands).
Green, yellow or orange
Thanks to a green, yellow or orange color code passengers can easily find out where they’re most likely to find an empty seat. NS discovered that for 30% of all standing passengers there actually is an empty seat but most of them just don’t know where. The app should help filling up carriages properly, although it will take a while to develop the technology on all lines.
NS is using historical data and sensors to measure the weight of the carriages to make predictions about the level of passengers’ occupation. With an algorithm the average number of passengers that are occupying the carriage is calculated, not the exact figure.
At this moment NS is analyzing the feasibility of using CO2 sensors, measuring the amount of CO2 in the carriages too as an alternative. The more people, the more exhaled CO2. Maybe this would be an easier option to develop a similar occupation indication system for the whole country.