N.J. Transit received a Federal grant that will allow it to use AI and video analytics to study customer patterns on the River LINE light rail system, aiding in better crowd management in response to COVID-19.

“Thanks to this grant, NJ TRANSIT continues to build on its efforts to leverage technology to protect customers and employees amid this ongoing pandemic,” NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett said in a statement.

“The data we collect from the video and artificial intelligence analysis is also expected to provide longer-term operational benefits and customer experience improvements. We thank our New Jersey congressional delegation for all their support as we continue to work tirelessly to create the safest possible travel environment for our customers and employees,” Corbett added.

The U.S. Department of Transportation under The Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program awarded the $600,000 grant. N.J. Transit will use AI and video analytics in a pilot program to study heat mapping, face mask detection, and capacity management on mass transit.

Additionally, customers will now be able to see how full their train is by using the NJ TRANSIT mobile app.

“Studying real-time customer flow will allow NJ TRANSIT to assess performance, improve operations and better respond to emergencies,” U.S. Senator Bob Menendez said, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s mass transit subcommittee. “If successful, this pilot program can eventually be deployed across the state’s entire transit system benefiting hundreds of thousands of daily commuters.”

Read More About
Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.