Utilization of RFID data to evaluate characteristics of private car commuters in Middle East Technical University campus

Tüydeş Yaman, Hediye
Analyzing travel behavior of Middle East Technical University (METU) campus users via traditional survey approach requires great effort. However, using Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) system installed at all the campus entry gates provided a cheaper and an effective approach to determine basic characteristics of the campus private car commuters. The RFID data combined with traveler details enabled the study of the arrival and departure car-based commute behavior of academic personnel, administrative personnel and students, separately. The results revealed that campus car-based travel demand is mainly active between 07:00 to 22:00. While the majority of the private car commuters arrive during 08:00-09:00, the evening peak is distributed over a much longer period from 15:00 to 19:00. Administrative personnel have sharper evening departures between 17:00-18:00, while academic ones show a more scattered pattern lasting longer. Car-traveler students mostly arrive later during 09:00-10:00 and start leaving the campus as early as 15:00 lasting until late evenings. Stay time of vehicles on campus revealed that 43% of all trips to campus lasted less than 15 minutes, especially during morning and evening peaks, suggesting that a high number of RFID card holders pass through the campus, possibly for pick-ups or drop-offs. A small reverse commute pattern occurred due to the trips generated by family members of those living in on-campus housing units.