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Journal of Advanced Transportation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1318945, 14 pages
Research Article

Spatial-Temporal Similarity Correlation between Public Transit Passengers Using Smart Card Data

School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Hamed Faroqi

Received 30 April 2017; Revised 29 June 2017; Accepted 16 July 2017; Published 14 September 2017

Academic Editor: Zhi-Chun Li

Copyright © 2017 Hamed Faroqi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The increasing availability of public transit smart card data has enabled several studies to focus on identifying passengers with similar spatial and/or temporal trip characteristics. However, this paper goes one step further by investigating the relationship between passengers’ spatial and temporal characteristics. For the first time, this paper investigates the correlation of the spatial similarity with the temporal similarity between public transit passengers by developing spatial similarity and temporal similarity measures for the public transit network with a novel passenger-based perspective. The perspective considers the passengers as agents who can make multiple trips in the network. The spatial similarity measure takes into account direction as well as the distance between the trips of the passengers. The temporal similarity measure considers both the boarding and alighting time in a continuous linear space. The spatial-temporal similarity correlation between passengers is analysed using histograms, Pearson correlation coefficients, and hexagonal binning. Also, relations between the spatial and temporal similarity values with the trip time and length are examined. The proposed methodology is implemented for four-day smart card data including 80,000 passengers in Brisbane, Australia. The results show a nonlinear spatial-temporal similarity correlation among the passengers.