Analysing travel patterns on tourist buses - Datacity

Analysing travel patterns on tourist buses

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How to harvest, analyse and use data on the ways people use tourist buses, to improve transport services in cities and tailor products to customer profiles?

It is easy to gather, analyse and use information about people’s browsing paths and profiles on the Web today, but it is difficult to track people travelling around cities on buses. The market-available solutions merely count travellers, and that information is not enough to optimise journeys in light of the number of people using specific modes of transport, or to anticipate customer requirements based on their profiles.


The goal for this challenge is to add a smart edge to traveller counting. That means gleaning a clearer understanding of the circuits that passengers follow, i.e. identifying where any given passengers get on and off a bus and narrowing down their profiles (for example the type of ticket they have bought, their country of residence, age bracket, etc.).


That information, in turn, should help to forecast traffic accurately and cater more efficiently to demand during peak hours and in the busiest areas, and to offer customers more profile-sensitive products.




  • Use case

  • Data sets

  • Business opportunities

  • Results

Startups’ proposals will need to include a way to analyse travel patterns in order to pick up strong signals reflecting tourist activity, and thus attune deals more proactively. The experiment will take place in Paris but the solution needs to be replicable for testing in other cities.

The resources that partners will supply to startups tackling this challenge and conducting the experiment follow:


RATP Dev will supply Open Tour ticketing data, Wi-Fi data and Open Tour geolocation data. Open Tour is a RATP Dev company and Paris’ main operator of open-top double-decker sightseeing buses (50 hop-on/hop-off stops on 4 routes covering the city)


SFR will provide travel-related data from mobile devices (technical data from GSM antennas) for a representative sample (approx. 30% of the population), covering uninterrupted periods (24/7) in France (locals and foreigners)


MasterCard will share anonymised data from its transaction records, i.e. transaction amounts, user profiles, payment methods (contactless, smartphone or touchpad), geolocations (merchant codes), times and average purchases


Cisco will supply sensors, cameras and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hotspots for buses or stops as appropriate, to count passengers and measure footfall and travel timeframes


Paris City Council will furnish the data from the JCDecaux/Connecthings experiment (which involves installing beacons in several pieces of street furniture including bus shelters)

RATP Dev: adapt tourist transport services in Paris based on actual traveller requirements and tailor products to customer profiles


Setec: advise cities and transport operators on the solutions they should provide in light of demand


Paris City Council: inform discussions about reorganising bus circuits with transport and mobility operators and authorities as rapidly as possible


Cisco: support development of embarked solutions


Startups: develop a new product, opening up opportunities to market it in France and around the world, possibly with RATP Dev’s support

Solution :


Using data from onboard Wifi equipment as well as ticketing and geolocation reports, the selected startup, Intersec, created an interface that enables L’OpenTour (RATP Dev) to collect information and monitor how visitors use the buses, how many they are onboard, where they hop-on and hop-off the double-deckers, as well as from what sales channel they have acquired their tickets. Thanks to this tool L’OpenTour (RATP Dev) will be able to adapt its services and organization for Paris visitors based on actual travelers requirements. Products, offerings and routes will thus be optimized.


Impact :


Creation of a visual dashboard enabling RATP Dev to analyze bus frequentation and sales depending on routes used by the buses.

Partner's Experts

Frédéric Narduzzi

ITS Project Director

Guillaume Martinetti

Big-Data Project Manager

Marc Saint-Félix

Open Tour Director