data pulse #18
Transport for London (TfL) has a purpose to ensure easy transport around London. It attempted several times to create customer friendly apps to use all the data from Train, tube and bus journeys. It couldn’t integrate the data and make a user friendly front end, to deliver this benefit for customers on its own.
TfL was very clear on its own capabilities : Good at Civil Engineering and its Purpose: Keep London moving. Instead they took a different approach to deliver their commercial imperative: TfL made their live transport data available real-time through an open API for developers. So far over 5000 users have registered, and over 300 apps created using Open Data, The most famous is Citymapper
Citymapper has created a customer app where you can look real-time at transport options to get you A to B , ‘here to Work’, ‘Here to Home’ etc. via walking, cycling, car, bus, train and Tube. The app tells you how long the journey will take, when and when it leaves from, cost, changes required, and provides a route map. It even tells you when to get off the bus, and a friend when you’ll be arriving
Transport for London benefits from this by having access to rich data on the way people are travelling around London – they can improve their transport services for the capital based on these learnings.
London was the first city but Citymapper is now in 23 cities including Manchester, Paris, Hamburg, Berlin, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, New York Chicago, Mexico, SaoPaulo, Tokyo and Singapore. The same system is now used to provide journey times and options at Heathrow into London, real-time on screens in airport arrivals
TfL are also exporting their model to other cities in UK and internationally, starting with the new City mayors in Manchester?