Consumer Focus/ Passenger focus open rail data

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Consumer Focus/ Passenger focus open rail data

  1. 1. Open rail data: why the rail industry needs transparency to improve Jonathan Raper Placr Ltd Mayor of London Digital Advisory Board
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Following the funding </li></ul><ul><li>Passenger concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Technology solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Making a market in rail information </li></ul>
  3. 3. Rail industry structure Courtesy: Network Rail Your tax Your fares
  4. 4. Network Rail mission <ul><li>“Network Rail… operates, maintains, renews and develops the infrastructure to deliver the outputs that governments.. wish to buy” ORR </li></ul><ul><li>High Level Output Spec is what government buys </li></ul><ul><li>“Delivering a Sustainable Railway 2007” specifies </li></ul><ul><li>Service levels etc that will be funded CP4 09-14 </li></ul><ul><li>Periodic Review 08 by ORR matches task & funds </li></ul><ul><li>NR also manages £10bn capital investment </li></ul>
  5. 5. Rail industry funding
  6. 6. Rail passengers interests <ul><li>Should be defended by… </li></ul><ul><li>HLOS/ RUS planning by DfT </li></ul><ul><li>Enquiries if needed by Office of Rail Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Passenger Focus consumer watchdog activity </li></ul><ul><li>Customer service interests of ToCs </li></ul><ul><li>Information from NRE </li></ul><ul><li>Journey Planning by transportdirect.info </li></ul>
  7. 7. What’s the problem? <ul><li>DfT only does performance, price & development </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all ToCs are monopolies on each line </li></ul><ul><li>ORR tolerates self-regulation by ATOC </li></ul><ul><li>Passenger Focus have influence but no power </li></ul><ul><li>Transportdirect.info has no API- so no rail apps </li></ul><ul><li>The industry is fragmented and complex </li></ul><ul><li>Very little information escapes the industry </li></ul><ul><li>Passengers are nihilistic about system </li></ul>
  8. 8. PF Passenger Information Report <ul><li>Some quotes from June 2011 report </li></ul><ul><li>“ What it [rail performance information] lacks is a real customer focus. They’re not really providing what people want. It’s an industry that is still very much producer led rather than customer led.” (5.6) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Their thinking was that more information about train services would mean greater transparency around train companies’ performance and that this in turn would effectively empower passengers because they could call the companies to account” (5.12) </li></ul>
  9. 9. What’s the solution? <ul><li>Information. Lots of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Arm the consumer </li></ul><ul><li>Timetables to analyse service patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Real time data to monitor delays </li></ul><ul><li>Fares data to identify savings eg fare splitting </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with other transport data eg bus </li></ul><ul><li>Developers can help with this… can’t they? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Rail data complexity
  11. 11. Role of National Rail Enquiries <ul><li>NRE are a service of ATOC </li></ul><ul><li>Set up to provide phone service at privatisation </li></ul><ul><li>Developed organically to run a web/API service </li></ul><ul><li>Integrates complex real time data </li></ul><ul><li>Network Rail exclusively sub-licences NRE all data </li></ul><ul><li>So, NRE is a monopoly commercial supplier of info about services mostly funded by taxpayer </li></ul><ul><li>Monopolies typically focus on own interests… </li></ul>
  12. 12. Role of NRE in passenger info <ul><li>What passengers want </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Train times for free on web and good value apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fares info to get the cheapest journey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated transport options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What NRE say their aims are (with some simplification) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ to increase ticket sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to grow our registered customer base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to continue our dominance as the #1 web site in travel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improving speed, accuracy &availability of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>keep the cost of info to ToCs down” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. NRE is regulated by ORR <ul><li>Regulated by ORR Code of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Code was implemented after competition enquiry </li></ul><ul><li>BUT Contains restrictive terms and conditions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Applications which in NRE’s reasonable opinion are of demonstrable benefit to passengers will be granted unless outweighed by a material adverse impact on TOCs (whether financially, strategically, operationally or in regards to their reputation or the reputation of the industry as a whole).” (Para 2) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Passengers confused about NRE <ul><li>PF report on passenger information June 2011 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The organisation many passengers rated as a possible source was National Rail Enquiries by virtue of its widespread use and their view of its effectiveness, but passengers presumed it to be independent of train companies” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Passengers don’t realise that NRE does not quote them the cheapest fare </li></ul>
  15. 15. Apps and services approved <ul><li>Most rail info apps expensive, NRE charging ££££ </li></ul><ul><li>Some free apps e.g LiveTrains, but no free policy </li></ul>
  16. 16. NRE controls licences <ul><li>NRE refuses licences on value judgment basis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alex Hewson [for publishing email discussions] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complain & Claim [will encourage fraud] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Approves licences after intrusive checks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>business model & directors’ background checks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NRE sets high prices not on marginal cost basis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fares, timetable & routing data monthly £1534 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>API revenue share on business case acceptance only </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Need a new range of services <ul><li>local public transport aggregation </li></ul><ul><li>delay monitoring for refunds </li></ul><ul><li>cheapest fare finders </li></ul><ul><li>novel visualisations eg tube-radar>> </li></ul><ul><li>Placr’s tube-radar cannot be produced for the rail industry now </li></ul><ul><li>Public interest in scrutiny not considered in licensing process </li></ul>
  18. 18. What can be done <ul><li>Reform NRE licencing and liberalise the market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow many new apps to innovate & engage passenger </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gain access to the data from Network Rail </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop access to NR’s internal TD.net </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Prototype open train times
  20. 20. SME achievements with open data <ul><li>Mashups </li></ul><ul><li>Public analytics </li></ul><ul><li>New feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability tools </li></ul><ul><li>Smartphone apps </li></ul>
  21. 21. Apps galore in transport http://data.london.gov.uk/datastore/inspirational-uses
  22. 22. Why open data to app developers? <ul><li>Few datasets are truly vital </li></ul><ul><li>Need actionable info to engage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make more convenient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save time or money </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Case study: bus companies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customers need info & will pay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Operators need to improve customer relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Placr investing in solutions here </li></ul>
  23. 23. placr.mobi app based on Traveline pla.cr Social media aggregation Activity stream Timetables & real-time } Placr analytics Performance maps Comment tag clouds { Service updates Campaign news FixMyTransport Crowd update s OpenStreetMap Council street team 2-way communication Comments Operator polling Free HTML5 webapp Runs on all smartphones Post via Twitter
  24. 24. placr.mobi open data business model Analytics Integration with Other data feeds API Free apps £££ Developers Ads Fees Customer relationship Compilation, referencing & validation Delivery of data as-a-service Raw timetable & Real time data Updates, comments
  25. 25. FixMyTransport
  26. 26. Power struggles over TfL data <ul><li>Requests for data were met with incredulity at first </li></ul><ul><li>Followed by organisational denial at the top </li></ul><ul><li>Then middle management fight-back eg MyTfL </li></ul><ul><li>http://placr.co.uk/blog/2010/10/journeyplanner_api/ </li></ul><ul><li>The press got involved </li></ul><ul><li>Re-assertion of political authority </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatic negotiations begin </li></ul><ul><li>First wave of data releases </li></ul><ul><li>Now TfL are an open data reference </li></ul>
  27. 27. Liberalising the market for rail info <ul><li>Apps and web services need to be free to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Present information in new ways to engage/inform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor performance independently & critique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find cheapest fares by fare splitting/ route selection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>compare/ contrast routes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The industry cannot do this for itself </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monopolies need help to change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Liberalise the market for rail information! </li></ul>
  28. 28. Contact <ul><li>http://www.placr.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>@MadProf </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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