The lights above the doors indicate the occupancy in that section of the train, Source: SYTRAL Mobilités

Lyon metro tests an occupancy warning system

Lyon metro tests an occupancy warning system

The system uses a simple tri-colour traffic light code to let commuters know the best place to enter a train

Currently, and for the next six months, there is an ongoing experiment at the Sans Souci subway stop in Lyon, which will let commuters standing on the platform quickly understand the occupancy of the train. That will allow them to orient themselves and enter the vehicle at parts where it is less crowded.

Sans Souci is the busiest station on the TCL metro network of Lyon (with up to 300,000 users/day). That is perhaps a little bit ironic given that its name translates to “without a care” from French, but the new technology implemented by SYTRAL Mobilités and Keolis Lyon has the aim to restore the spirit of that name.

Real-time occupancy indicators

Keolis Lyon and SYTRAL Mobilités are the companies operating the public transit network of the French city and its surrounding larger metropolitan region. Sans Souci is located on line D of the TCL and this is the way the system works overall.

Two cameras installed at the previous stations, Grange Blanche and Monplaisir Lumière, scan the interior of the train and transmit the traffic rate of each car, via a light display placed above each door:

  • Green light means - Easy access, no or few users at that door and seats available nearby;
  • Orange light means - A few passengers present at the door in question and few seats available;
  • Red light means – Many passengers in front of the door concerned and no seat nearby.

“This new passenger information system will make travel more fluid and improve user comfort. It also comes at a time when the public health situation is still uncertain, so it’s an effective solution for the most vulnerable people, said Bruno Bernard, President of Lyon Metropolis and SYTRAL Mobilités.

Depending on the feedback and changes in behaviour observed during this experimentation phase, this system could be extended to other stations.



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