Fare evasion is the act of traveling on public transport without a valid ticket. Either by not paying at all or only paying partial fares. This practice is a problem in many public transport systems around the world. Not only does it create a feeling of unfairness and insecurity among paying passengers, but it also causes significant revenue losses. TRAINSFARE wants to change this situation.
Some metro and commuter train operators deploy mass ticket inspections to control fare evasion. Others combine ticket inspections with fare gates at entrance and exit points. These are reasonably effective measures, but have a major weakness: they do not fully prevent fare evasion.
There are systems on the market that can detect fare evasion at the access gates. Nevertheless, they have not been successfully applied to apprehend offenders on rail networks. That’s why Awaait Artificial Intelligence (AWAAIT) has developed the TRAINSFARE project, which has received European Commission funding through an H2020 SME Instrument grant.
The solution behind TRAINSFARE project
TRAINSFARE aims to tackle fare evasion on public transport via DETECTOR, an automatic real-time video analytics system that uses Artificial Intelligence-Machine Learning algorithms to alert inspectors when detecting a fare dodger.
Via Artificial Intelligence-Machine Learning algorithms, a camera over the ticket barrier observes the ticket validation process. The system sends an alert to mobile terminals when detecting a fare dodging incident. Inspectors receive a sequence of images in their smartphones within 3 second. This enables them to react rapidly and intercept offenders before they reach the platform. The system also feeds back the outcome of each inspection. Thus, other inspectors can see it in real-time, allowing coordinated ticket control deployments.
DETECTOR allows very selective controls to intercept offenders before they reach the platform. This implies a drastic drop of checks on paying passengers as well as leaner, faster and more efficient ticket controls. Overall, the system allows to keep mobility continuous, reduce fare evasion and, in turn, enhance economic sustainability for public transport.