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13 April 2016
Mobile counting to monitor various railway stations for mass transit fine-tuning
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Client: SNCF (national State-owned railway) – division “Gares & Connexions” which manages over 3,000 stations throughout France. “Transilien” manages the suburban railway service within the Paris region (Ile-de-France).

Size: global revenue of 32 bn€ in 2015. SNCF employs over 240,000 people.

Installed counters: 32 railway stations have been equipped with Instant Counting mats over the past 2 years, some CITIX-IR were also installed for long-term counting.

Project history

To acquire pedestrian count data, the SNCF used to do manual counting in specific locations. It was time-consuming and costly.

They decided to switch to automatic counting with a pilot project undertaken at Montparnasse railway station in Paris in 2012. 2 Instant Counting mats were installed for 2 hours, along with manual counting to validate the accuracy of counting mats. Counts were highly accurate, and in 2013, the station of Lille was chosen to be fully covered with counting mats.

Since then, automatic counting has become much more important within the company. Projects were quickly set up in Rennes, Nantes and Bordeaux (with over 85 mats installed!) for a total of 32 different railway stations in 2 years.

Because the client was very satisfied, Eco-Counter services have been recommended to other branches of the SNCF company requiring pedestrian data in different kind of locations, but still with a strong transport-oriented mindset.


Counting objectives

The aim was to provide accurate counting data on the railway stations usage. This data is very valuable for managers to understand precise usage patterns. By counting people entering and leaving the facility, or accessing the platforms, and combining it with the number of tickets sold, managers were able to know precisely if people were taking a train, or meeting people at the station, or wandering around for services and commodities within the station. A railway station has different types of users, and counting at specific zones enabled to distinguish them.

Follow-up projects

Another division of the SNCF, SNCF Transilien, wanted to count travelers as well. This division manages railway stations within the “Ile-de-France” and wanted to assess the impact of its unique fee policy implemented in September 2015 for all regular subscriptions. They installed counters in three different railway stations which were likely to get affected by this change. Their aim was to see if this change had an impact on people using the full line instead of using their cars, parking closer to Paris center and then taking a Transilien train. It is rather counter-intuitive but what the client was really measuring was if less people were entering the railway stations close to the center of Paris.

Why Eco-Counter?

We did our best to put forward custom solutions, and be flexible with the client need (semi-Instant Counting mats which were the only option to fit the turnstiles the client was using).

As the client was interested in renting solutions, we provided a specific offer for these large-scale projects requiring a high level of expertise and a dedicated team making sure counting operations unfold as planned.

>> More information on CITIX and Indoor Counting

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