TfL continues to engage the developer community

Start-ups and SMEs can bring lots of value to large organisations and TfL is no exception. Through our open data activity, there are over 600 apps in London using TfL data with an incredible 13,700 registered users of our open data. This has generated an economic benefit of up to £130m per year in terms of customer, TfL and city wide value through new businesses being developed by using TfL’s open data.

It’s vital that TfL continues to engage with the app developer community, academics and others through promoting the right challenges, access to the right people and tools, and continually seeking feedback from our open data users. I know we do this through several channels such as the Tech Forum, events and this blog but I’m hoping that we do some more. So, it was great to be involved in two events this weekend:

At TfL, we’re committed to engaging with the developer community to continue to help with the creation of innovative travel tools

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New study quantifies value of open data to London

Further to the Shakespeare Review which used TfL’s open data activity as a case study in 2013, we asked Deloitte to carry out a more comprehensive study on the value of open data to our customers, users and London overall.

Northern ticket hall entrance to Kings Cross St. Pancras Underground station
There are more than 600 apps powered by TfL’s open data, and these are used by as much as 42% of Londoners.

Continue reading New study quantifies value of open data to London

Developers – help us improve our open data

We’re holding a consultation into our Transparency Strategy, and we’d love to hear from you about how we can improve.

The Strategy covers our open data products, so we want to hear from the developer community about our Unified API and open data. We want to know how we can improve our products to give you regular, up to date and useful information, as well as the formats in which this data should be published.

We’re also keen to hear how you think this data should be grouped or presented on the TfL website, and whether we need to give further support to developers, stakeholders and researchers who use it.

The consultation is running for six weeks, from 18 September to 29 October.

While we always encourage comments to these blog posts, to make sure your voice is heard visit our Consultation website to have your say

 

Accelerator programme for mobility start-ups

It’s great to see so many customer-facing apps using TfL’s open data. With over 600 apps in areas of public transport, active travel and healthier streets, we are continually focused on releasing new data.

There are lots of people involved in the ecosystem, ranging from app developers and start-ups to accelerator programmes.

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How we built the TfL Customer API

We are excited to launch our new TfL Oyster app on iOS and Android, which allows customers to top up their Oyster cards, purchase Travelcards and view their journey history. The app was launched last week, and has already received lots of great feedback. We wanted to offer you more insight into how we developed it.

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The TfL Oyster app launched last week – let us know what you think in the comments section below.

An API – or application programming interface – is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols and tools for building application software¹. We already have a wide range of public APIs, which provide information such as line status, bus status and journey information. To build a mobile application allowing customers access to their Oyster card data through, we needed to write a new API to support this.

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Nitrous TfL Showcase Evening

Back in March I posted this blog about Nitrous and their accelerator programme, which was focusing on some key transport challenges, and asking for applications to the programme. This short video looks at some of the participants in the accelerator programme, filmed at the event at City Hall on Thursday 22 June, as guests were treated to an evening of presentations and networking. 

TfL TravelBot: Designing the conversation

As you may already know if you’re following this blog, we recently released the TfL TravelBot on Facebook Messenger. If you haven’t read them yet, Steven and Charul’s posts will give you a bit of background.
Check out TravelBot here or search for TfL TravelBot in the messenger application. In this post I will explore the reasons for introducing a conversational bot and our learnings around the design of conversation.

Diverse backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles mean that we all use different words to talk about things. This can become frustrating when you’re trying to find something on a website.

In our team, we try to label things in a way that most users will understand, but are well aware of the fact that we will never be able to cater for everyone. This means that some users have to change the way they think to match what they are looking for.


Continue reading TfL TravelBot: Designing the conversation