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How can Open Data Revolutionise your Rail Travel?
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How can Open Data Revolutionise your Rail Travel?

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Friday Lunchtime Lectures at the Open Data Institute. For our fourth lecture... How can open data revolutionise your rail travel? The release of open data on public transport over the last year has …

Friday Lunchtime Lectures at the Open Data Institute. For our fourth lecture... How can open data revolutionise your rail travel? The release of open data on public transport over the last year has laid bare the the secrets of cheap fares, true timekeeping records and the best alternative routes the official journey planners don't tell you. Jonathan Raper, digital geographer and founder of Placr, will draw back the curtain on this new era and reveal how you can make the most of it.

Published in Technology , Business , Travel
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  • 1. How can open data revolutionise your rail travel? Jonathan Raper CEO, Placr
  • 2. OutlineRevolutionalising your rail travel means answering these questions first…• Who controls the railways?• How is the industry structured?• Who pays for the railways?Then we can drill down on the issues that matter…• How do we monitor punctuality?• How do we get the cheapest fare?• What are the cool new apps/services?
  • 3. Your tax Who controls the railways? Your faresCourtesy: Network Rail
  • 4. How is the industry structured?
  • 5. How are the railways funded?• “Network Rail… operates, maintains, renews and develops the infrastructure to deliver the outputs that governments.. wish to buy” ORR• High Level Output Spec is what government buys• “Delivering a Sustainable Railway 2007” specifies service levels etc that will be funded CP4 09-14• Periodic Review 08 by ORR matched task & funds – Next PR this year for CP5• NR also borrows for capital investment
  • 6. The governance problem for railways• DfT only buys services at a high level• Almost all ToCs are monopolies on each line• ORR tolerates self-regulation by ATOC• Passenger Focus have influence but no power• The industry is fragmented and complex• Very little information escapes the industry• Passengers are nihilistic about system
  • 7. Some tweets• Ahh #firstcapitalconnect - trains appear on the KingsX board but it doesnt mean the train exists - silly me [@JerryMarwood]• @FirstCC We all know Ally is a robot. Automated answers heh heh [@penaltyfare]• @FirstCC I used to get the 909 from letchworth and it always arrived at 912 so FCC cleverly made that train the 912 but then arrived at 914 [@tumsguide]
  • 8. Role of National Rail Enquiries• NRE are a service of ATOC• Set up to provide phone service at privatisation• Funded by TOCs, who are part-funded by taxes• Developed organically to run a web/API service• Until 2012 a monopoly supplier of all rail data• Network Rail movement data now #opendata• NRE still exclusively collect operating data from TOCS that enhances its feeds• NRE license rail data @ £1.50/app
  • 9. Role of NRE in passenger info• What passengers want – Train times for free on web and good value apps – Fares info to get the cheapest ticket(s) for journey – Integrated transport options• What NRE say their aims are (with some simplification) – “to increase ticket sales – to grow our registered customer base – to continue our dominance as the #1 web site in travel – Improving speed, accuracy &availability of information – keep the cost of information to ToCs down”
  • 10. What’s the solution?• Information. Lots of it. From open sources.• Arm the consumer… and open up the industry: – Timetables to analyse service patterns – Real time data to monitor delays – Fares data to identify savings eg fare splitting – Integration with other transport data eg bus• Developers can help with this… can’t they?• Placr created http://transportapi.com/ for this
  • 11. NR train movement feeds• 003-moves{"event_type": "ARRIVAL”,"gbtt_timestamp”: "1358780700000","original_loc_stanox":” ","planned_timestamp":"1358780700000","timetable_variation":"0","original_loc_timestamp":"", "current_train_id":"","delay_monitoring_point":"false","next_report_run_time":"1","reporting_st anox":"00000","actual_timestamp":"1358780700000","correction_ind":"false","event_source":"A UTOMATIC","train_file_address":null,"platform":"","division_code":"60","train_terminated":"false ","train_id":"072G54MP21","offroute_ind":"false","variation_status":"ONTIME","train_service_co de":"13569815","toc_id":"60","loc_stanox":"07132","auto_expected":"true","direction_ind":"UP", "route":"0","planned_event_type":"ARRIVAL","next_report_stanox":"07136","line_ind":""} | 2013- 01-21 15:04:09 | 2013-01-21 15:04:09• 002-cancellations 25739787 | 0002 | 561d0540-ee1e-012f-9605-00163e000001 | 632O31MY21 | {"train_file_address":null,"train_service_code":"22710001","orig_loc_stanox":"","toc_id":"26","de p_timestamp":"1358796120000","division_code":"26","loc_stanox":"63201","canx_timestamp":"1 358849100000","canx_reason_code":"YI","train_id":"632O31MY21","orig_loc_timestamp":"","can x_type":"AT ORIGIN"} | 2013-01-22 10:06:05 | 2013-01-22 10:06:05• 001-activations 1679921 | 0001 | C | | 2013-12-06 | 321A42MO21 | 2013-01-21 | 2013-01-21 11:05:15 | | 2013-01-21 14:15:00 | 22108001 | 65 | 00000 | MANUAL | P50657 | NORMAL |O | 32000 | 1A42M | 2012-12-10 | 1415 | 38260220-ee20-012f-9605-00163e000001 | MANCHESTER PICCADILLY | LONDON EUSTON | VT | 2013-01-21 11:05:19 | 2013-01-21 11:05:19• Requires high-speed consumption of stream and cross- referencing with reference sources
  • 12. TransportAPI architecture Raw Raw data data MapsFeedsReal-time Cache Data Joins tables Geolocate Cloud servers Lookups App Keys API Stop/station Displays data Content App Processing logic Updating ``
  • 13. transportapi gallery
  • 14. What do we want now?• Initial data releases have enabled us to start up services eg feeds for CityMapper >>>• Level playing field for businesses• Liberalised data market• Open data driven innovation• Open fare data expected soon
  • 15. Level playing field• Access to the rest of industry data streams: – Short term cancellations etc Tyrell – Rolling stock formation etc Gemini – Cycle policies• Full details better enable us to launch informative apps about your travel
  • 16. Liberalised market• Open up commercial interface to new approaches to the market – “Liverpool-London by train on a Friday night. Fare splitting. Double the journey time at a third of the price. Not an option on Nat Rail Enqs @Madprof• Enable innovators to find the best deals and reliable services for your journey, and then fulfill their order without onerous T&Cs
  • 17. Open data innovation• Need to enable new insights, build confidence e.g. OpenTrainTimes map visualisation• New ways to view performance measures
  • 18. Prototype open train times
  • 19. FixMyTransport
  • 20. New metrics from apps • Apps will create independent streams of data about the railway – Typical performance cf expected performance • Placr already been asked by press to give independent view of performance e.g. http://tube-radar.com/
  • 21. Apps as probes• Smartphones can use apps as probes for – Train progress – Acceleration/deceleratio n via phone sensors• Can check publicity claims
  • 22. Train lateness map transportapi.com
  • 23. Fares• Fares are about to be released as open data by Rail Settlement plan• Will become possible to mine the data• New role of information facilitators to fare portals
  • 24. In summary• Open data can drive – Accountability – Reductions in cost – Disruptive market influences• Placr hope to play a key role with – New apps/services – Easy data distribution – New value-added feeds
  • 25. Contacthttp://www.placr.co.uk/jonathan.raper@placr.co.uk@Madprof