You may have seen Keolis customer service folks with 'clickers' counting the passengers at Back Bay & South Station - especially from train P508. Keolis is also quite interested in the crowding and wants to get hard data on ridership. They even have a new custom iPhone app that their customer service agents will be using to replace the clickers. They will use the app to gather passengers counts that will be fed directly back into their databases & information systems - eliminating the time lag and risk of transposition errors inherent in manually gathered data. They've done field testing that indicates the iPhone app produced similar results as the manual clickers.
During one of our recent Tweet storms about the overcrowding and schedule issues, our fellow transit blogger and friend Ari Ofsevit had a great idea to use our own observations about train crowding to generate our own data on ridership. He has used google forms to gather similar data in the past with some success.
So he setup a form for us to use to gather ridership data (thanks Ari!). We're asking ALL OF YOU to join in our effort and enter your own observations into the google form. We'll tabulate the data and present it in this blog.
Fill out the google ridership data form here
If possible, enter data for each day you ride the train. We're starting off with just the morning commute for now. We'll see how we do with this effort and we'll build off of it. If you have any suggestions for the form leave those in the comments below.