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The quest for open rail data Jonathan Raper Placr
Workshop <ul><li>The politics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The quest for open rail data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jonathan Raper...
Rail industry structure Courtesy: Network Rail Your tax Your fares
Network Rail mission <ul><li>“Network Rail… operates, maintains, renews and develops the infrastructure to deliver the out...
Rail industry funding
Rail passengers interests <ul><li>Should be defended by… </li></ul><ul><li>HLOS/ RUS planning by DfT </li></ul><ul><li>Enq...
What’s the problem? <ul><li>DfT only does performance, price & development </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all ToCs are monopolie...
What’s the solution? <ul><li>Information. Lots of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Arm the consumer </li></ul><ul><li>Timetables to a...
Rail data complexity
Role of National Rail Enquiries <ul><li>NRE are a service of ATOC </li></ul><ul><li>Set up to provide phone service at pri...
Role of NRE in passenger info <ul><li>What passengers want </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Train times for free on web and good valu...
NRE is regulated by ORR <ul><li>Regulated by ORR Code of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Code was implemented after competition...
Apps and services approved <ul><li>Most rail info apps expensive, NRE charging £ </li></ul><ul><li>Some free apps e.g Live...
NRE controls licences <ul><li>NRE refuses licences on value judgment basis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alex Hewson [for publishi...
Need a new range of services <ul><li>local public transport aggregation </li></ul><ul><li>novel visualisations </li></ul><...
What can be done <ul><li>Reform NRE licencing and liberalise market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Submit your views to ORR by 20 t...
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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Open tech The Quest for Open Rail Data

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Presentation to OpenTech 2011 on open rail data situation in GB

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Open tech The Quest for Open Rail Data

  1. 1. The quest for open rail data Jonathan Raper Placr
  2. 2. Workshop <ul><li>The politics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The quest for open rail data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jonathan Raper (@madprof) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UK Rail Data from a Technical Perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peter Hicks (@poggs) </li></ul></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 by design </li></ul><ul><li>The industry is fragmented and complex </li></ul><ul><li>Very little information escapes the industry </li></ul>
  8. 8. 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>
  9. 9. Rail data complexity
  10. 10. 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>
  11. 11. 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>
  12. 12. 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>
  13. 13. 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 policy </li></ul>
  14. 14. 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 £1534 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>API revenue share on business case acceptance only </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Need a new range of services <ul><li>local public transport aggregation </li></ul><ul><li>novel visualisations </li></ul><ul><li>delay monitoring for refunds </li></ul><ul><li>cheapest fare finders </li></ul><ul><li>Placr’s tube-radar cannot be produced for the rail industry </li></ul><ul><li>Public interest in scrutiny not considered in licensing process </li></ul>
  16. 16. What can be done <ul><li>Reform NRE licencing and liberalise market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Submit your views to ORR by 20 th June </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><ul><li>Next part of workshop focuses on tech options </li></ul>
  17. 17. Contact <ul><li>http://www.placr.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>@MadProf </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

Presentation to OpenTech 2011 on open rail data situation in GB

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