London RoadLab – our street, your lab

This week we have a guest post from Rikesh Shah and Daniel Gosselin from our Commercial Innovation team.

We recently launched London RoadLab, a new way of working with innovators.

London’s transport network has been consistently delivering new technology and innovations. We are home to the very first underground railway and, in 1868, the first traffic light was introduced in London. We couldn’t imagine London without traffic lights now, but 150 years ago our roads were revolutionised by taking something used for the railway and applying it to motor traffic.

More recently, we have developed a world-leading contactless payment system, and launched our open data products. Our open data now powers nearly 700 apps, used by 42% of Londoners and has not only allowed us to work more closely with app developers, but has generated new jobs and enabled Londoners to plan their journeys through their channel of choice.

Technology continues to develop at a faster rate than ever before and it’s important that we continue to embrace the latest innovations to help us deliver better services for our customers. Following the success of open data, we wanted to explore how to work more closely with innovators to develop new products that solve our problems.

We have also been exploring what else we can do better and what problems we can solve. One of these is roadworks. Roadworks on our strategic roads have an estimated £2 billion cost to London’s economy every year, and, whilst we appreciate their importance in keeping London moving, we also know we must continue to find new and innovative ways to reduce the impact they have on the city. We knew we needed to find new ways to work with innovators to create useful and tangible solutions to solve this problem. We also knew it was important to offer unique access to our assets and expertise, and to be able to take the products forward at the end of the programme.

Sign up for RoadLab

It’s true to say that this area of innovation is new for corporates and the public sector. The value to innovators of getting to work with companies like TfL to develop something that solves citywide problems is significant, and we need to offer opportunities like innovation partnerships to enable us to deliver this.

Building on our research over the past few months, we have created a new process for bringing innovation into public sector organisations and working with innovators beyond a set programme. We are offering unique insight into TfL, providing expertise, data, and pilot sites alongside a programme of mentoring and business support from our partners at Plexal.

If you think you can make roadworks in London safer, smarter, or more inclusive please sign up today.

Fares information in the TfL Journey Planner endpoint, Unified API

What’s changing

Later this week we’re planning to add some fares information to the “Journey” endpoint of the TfL Unified API. This will be shown on TfL’s online Journey Planner, and developers using the Unified API will be able to show the same fares information.


In detail

We will provide and display the adult pay as you go fare for any journey which is fully pay as you go, made up of only Buses, Underground, DLR, TfL Rail, Overground, Trams, Thames Clipper, Emirates Air Line and some National Rail. The peak or off-peak fare will be given based on the time of the journey.


How the change will appear

The “Fare” property in the Unified API response is currently null, we’ll be populating it with a “Fare” object.

In addition to the fare itself, the “Fare” object also contains a breakdown of the cost, and more information about how to pay the fare, what time to travel, etc. This information should be made available on any platform using the fares information, to ensure users know how to pay the expected fare.


Active Travel Hackathon 2018

**UPDATE** Unfortunately, we will be postponing this event until late May/early June due to a series of conflicting events. We have had a great number of diverse registrants so far and look forward to seeing you all with many more registrants in a number of weeks.

We will be updating the registration website with a new date very soon.

For those already signed up, you will receive the new date via email and you will not need to re-register.

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Join us for the Transport for London (TfL), Met Office, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) London Hackathon at Amazon’s office in London.

This is a two-day event sponsored by Cloudreach, where you will have the opportunity to compete against other teams of developers to create the most innovative application running on AWS.

Learn from subject-matter experts from TfL, Met Office, and Cloudreach to help address some of London’s key challenges.

The Vision

The recently published Mayor’s Transport Strategy sets out a vision “to make London a city where people choose to walk and cycle more often by improving street environments, making it easier for everyone to get around on foot and by bike, and promoting the benefits of active travel.”

This vision aims to reduce traffic, pollution, and noise; and to create more attractive, accessible, and pedestrian-friendly streets for citizens. A more engaged, physically active society leads to a healthier people.

The plan includes a target that 80 percent of all Londoners’ trips will be made by foot, bike, or public transport by 2041. Achieving this goal will require a considerable shift in behaviour citywide.

This is where you come in! We want to open this challenge to the wider developer community to find innovative solutions to this key challenge. Through teamwork, TfL believes we can provide our audience with the best information, tools, and encouragement it needs, to help influence behavior toward more sustainable and active travel.

Ahead of the event, we encourage you to think about the challenges below and will provide you with the data concerning cycling, walking, air quality, weather, and roads.

The Challenges

Encourage a mindset shift:

Encourage active travel for the first and last miles. Drive good behaviour through social influence by making it easier to share travel plans and through wearables. Inspire the development of new travel planning technology and features. Encourage combining TfL and Met Office data to develop air quality/active travel products.

Enable and support more active travel:

Improve the functionality and personalisation of existing active travel journey-planning and navigational tools (e.g. routing features enhanced by new cycling and walking data), and build new resources and technology.

Empower users to share feedback:

Develop new tools and enhancements to allow crowd-sourcing of customer feedback and reporting of data errors (to support management and maintenance of cycling and walking datasets). Provision new mechanisms for communicating expectations for healthy streets and the barriers / improvements that can inform future policy development.

So whether you’re a start-up or a developer, if you are in a position to develop a product that addresses the challenges outlined below, you should join us at the launch event on 10 April.

Where and When

Venue: Amazon’s offices – 60 Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FD, London

When: April 10 – April 11, 2018

Free drinks and nibbles will be provided at event.
Through this transport-focused Hack event, TfL, AWS and Met Office are keen to work with the start-up community, app developers, UX and design specialists, and anyone with a passion for data in order to build new applications and unlock new insights from the data.

We’ll ‘hack’ on 10 April from 10:00 to 18:00, and resume on 11 April from 10:00 to 16:00.

You will receive AWS Promotional Credits, which will help you take your project from idea to implementation. Subject-matter experts from TfL, AWS solutions architects, and developers from Cloudreach and Met Office will be onsite to provide support and mentorship. At the end of the two-day hackathon, a panel of experts will choose the most innovative application, and prizes will be awarded.

What you’ll need

You will need to bring a laptop and you will need an AWS account. AWS credits and an API will be provided to access the data.

Places are limited so please register quickly at to not miss out on this great event!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Unified API: New data – Electric Vehicle Rapid Charging Points

Zero emission capable (ZEC) vehicles have environmental and financial benefits, and are vital to London becoming a zero carbon city by 2050. We are working with partners to develop a network to help you charge them quickly and efficiently.

Rapid charge points can charge an electric vehicle battery in 20-30 minutes. This is quicker than regular charge points that can take 7-8 hours for a full charge.

The majority of these charge points allow for pay as you go payment using a credit or debit card – you don’t need to be a member.

They allow high mileage users, such as electric taxi and private hire drivers and freight and fleet operators, to quickly charge their vehicle. We have committed to install 150 rapid charging points by the end of 2018 and have at least 300 by 2020.

Electric Vehicle Rapid Charge Point (ECP) data is supplied to us from a number of concessionaires who install and manage charge stations across the UK and Europe. These concessionaires include British Gas, Charge Master, FastNed, Bluepoint and ESB, although at present not all of them have facilities in the Greater London area.

Continue reading Unified API: New data – Electric Vehicle Rapid Charging Points

Help solve city wide challenges at City Data Hack (16–18 March 2018)



City Data Hack 2018 at The Urban Innovation Centre in Clerkenwell will bring together talented and passionate participants, mentors and challenge partners who are keen to transform the experiences of citizens through data and digital solutions. TfL’s challenge is to ask participants to come up with ideas on how to improve Travel Plans to help us meet our targets for increasing use of public transport and active travel (cycling and walking) in the city.


Future Cities Catapult have partnered with three organisations who influence the way that the city is experienced by millions in London each day — Greater London AuthorityTransport for London, and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Challenge partners have set City Data Hack 2018 three challenges to be solved over the weekend, each with a strong social or economic focus.

Why are we supporting City Data Hack 2018?

Like Future Cities Catapult, we believe that collaboration with multi-skilled experts is essential for solving city problems — and that embedding data, analytics and AI into service provision will generate better outcomes for future generations.

Future Cities Catapult and Space Syntax’s Tombolo project has spent the past two years researching how public organisations are using data and developing products to help solve city data challenges. They soon realised that there’s a growing number of people with the same mission and that’s why they organised City Data Hack 2018.

Aims for the weekend

  1. Most importantly, Future Cities Catapult want to make sure that all hackers and mentors have fun
  2. We would love it if participants created something amazing, and we have a hunch that multi-skilled teams with the right mentorship will achieve a rewarding outcome
  3. Future Cities Catapult want to show other public sector organisations that events like this can spur on grassroots innovation and investment


The main purpose of the Hackathon is to bring together passionate people to tackle city challenges. But Future Cities Catapult are offering an additional incentive for your time. A chance to win up to £1,000 worth of prizes, which will be split across the winning team and individuals who take part in the weekend.

Plus, they’ll be offering individual prizes for social media and GitHub contributions across the weekend.

How can you get involved?

An overwhelming number of people have already registered their interest in the event but you can still take part.


There are a handful of places left for next weekend’s Hackathon.

Sign-up now if you would like to take part. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.


Future Cities Catapult are still looking for mentors. If you have experience mentoring Hackathons and would like to help guide participating teams to success get in touch with the organisers on twitter @tombolo_ or by emailing


We’re excited to be part of this event but Future Cities Catapult have also lined up some other amazing partners:fccpartners

If you attend the event, let us know your experiences in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Waze partnership: Reducing congestion at Blackwall Tunnel

36 million journeys are made through London’s Blackwall Tunnel every year making it one of the busiest and most congested sections of London’s road network.  It is also one of the worst locations in the city for breakdowns which cause nearly 400 hours of delays and cost Londoners almost £7m in wasted time.  TfL’s Travel Demand Management Team reviewed historical data on breakdowns in the tunnel and found that vehicles running out of petrol were one of the highest frequency causes.

 In order to target this hyper local problem, we partnered with Waze and used their advertising platform to remind drivers approaching the tunnel to refuel.  As a result, from end of May 2017 to end of November 2017, we saw 459 Waze users re-route to a nearby petrol station, drastically reducing the risk of breakdowns from fuel shortages in the tunnel.

Due to the success of the Blackwall Tunnel adverts, we are now looking at how we can use advertising in the Waze app to provide peak time congestion information to drivers and encourage them to avoid the busiest times at specific locations in order to have a quicker journey.

AECOM CityHack event

Digital technology and data are transforming London’s future. Just from our open data activity alone, there are over 600 apps in London being powered by TfL data and economic benefit of £130m per year in terms of customer, TfL and city-wide value being generated.

However, we want to further harness our data to make the capital a more healthier, liveable and connected place.

Alongside a number of other public bodies: City of London, Environment Agency and the Greater London Authority, we have partnered up with AECOM for their CityHack event that will take place over the weekend of 26th – 28th January 2018.

AECOM will bring together some of the best and brightest minds who are passionate about harnessing data and technology to develop a digital solution to those challenges each of us have set forth that will have a positive impact on London.

For TfL, we want to provide customers with the best information, tools and encouragement that can influence behavioural change towards more sustainable and active travel. We hope to encourage:

  • Active forms for the first and last miles
  • Better promotion of active travel routes
  • Active travel as a more preferable option on planning tools
  • Use of wearables
  • Development of new complementary products that support active travel i.e. not just digital

 Key details for the event:

  • 80 hackers
  • 30 hours
  • 4 challenges
  • AECOM will be awarding a £7,500 prize

 Please see for more details.

We look forward to seeing the results of this hackathon across the weekend and will post about the event in February.