Data Themes #1: Cycling in the City

We recently made available the route data for all our current Cycle Superhighways and the new Quietway 1 so developers can accurately map the existing cycle network in their apps, making it easier for cyclists to find and use these routes. The data will be regularly updated as more Cycle Superhighways and Quietways are completed in the coming years.

The promotion of these cycling routes is part of the delivery of the Mayor’s new blueprint for a healthy London, which will see increasing physical activity put at the centre of a wide range of GLA and TfL policy, setting out how it could transform the lives of millions of Londoners.  The new route data complements the extensive data we already provide on cycling in our API and as downloadable files. Here’s an overview of what’s available.

A Santander Cycles docking station: The promotion of cycling routes is part of the delivery of the Mayor’s new blueprint for a healthy London.

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This is not news! TfL plan ahead

Is the TfL website really mobile friendly?

Once upon a time, back in 2012, the TfL website was visited by around 16 million users on a monthly basis and our customer satisfaction surveys would generally always show that our users were happy with the site.

It was also in 2012 that we decided to redesign our website. Many of my own friends would ask why we were doing that, since the website was really good the way it was. Yes, the website was doing its job, but it was time for us to change. But the question remains: Why?

As Phil Young, Head of TfL Online, stated in this post from June 2013, where he announced that TfL’s new website was coming soon,“you’ve told us our site needs to be great on all devices.”

With that in mind, we launched the beta version of our shiny new mobile-friendly website back in 2013.

Around two years later in February 2015, Google announced the following:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

So, is the TfL website mobile friendly? As shown in the screen shot below, Google say it is, and you can test the TfL website and more pages at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

mobile-friendly
We were determined to make the TfL website great across all devices, and it passes Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

Continue reading This is not news! TfL plan ahead

Tube strike – Web and open data analytics

As expected, last week saw 4 days of high demand on our website and open data during the Tube strike and in the build up to it, with traffic at 1.67 x normal levels over Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th August.

The strike started on the evening of Wednesday 5th which was the busiest day, with 1,315,328 visits, though this was considerably lower than the busiest day of last month’s Tube strike, when we hit a record 2,058,618 visits.

With 1.3 Million visits, Wednesday 5th August was the 6th busiest day this calendar year, preceded by January and July strike days.
With 1.3 Million visits, Wednesday 5th August was the 6th busiest day this calendar year, preceded by January and July strike days.

The morning of Friday 7th continued to see an increase in demand, but with numbers starting to drop back to normal levels as the day went on.

Our web and data services performed well throughout the period of high demand, with no reports of issues accessing our services.

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TfL website – How and when our traffic arrives

Following the previous post that looked at traffic stats a year on from the launch of our new website, this post delves further into our analytics with a focus on the devices and operating systems most commonly used to access the site. There’s also some interesting insights into how specific services on the site are accessed, as well as the way the time of day influences these metrics.

Device trends

Perhaps unsurpisingly, tfl.gov.uk now receives more than half of its traffic (54%) from mobile phones. This is up from 44% in May 2014, when PCs and laptops still accounted for the bulk of visits, albeit marginally with 45%.

As the graph below shows, mobile phones overtook PCs in August of last year and have steadily increased their share ever since. At these rates of growth, the forecast is for at least 62% of our traffic coming from mobiles by this time next year.

Interestingly, tablets haven’t shared the same growth as mobiles, and visits from these devices have actually been slowing down. Their share of visits has declined from a peak of 11.2% in June & August 2014, to a low of 9.6% in April 2015.

Devices used to access the TfL site
Mobile phone access overtook PCs last August, and has increased ever since

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TfL website – One year on

This week marked the first anniversary of the launch of our new website. The new site, which works well on mobiles, tablets and desktops, replaced our previous website dating back to 2007.

The site, used by 81% of Londoners, brings together live data about all forms of transport in London and is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about public transport and roads.

Since launch customers have made over 250 million visits and viewed 1.2 billion pages and our most recent survey shows satisfaction at 90%, the highest ever.

We have also seen usage on mobile phones overtake desktop computers with 120 million visits on mobile and 107 million on desktops, with the remainder coming from tablets. This reflects the fact that the site is much better suited to mobiles and customers are increasingly using it on the move.

TfL, Home Page, New Website
TfL home page at launch in March 2014

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TfL Widgets – Latest Updates


This blog looks at TfL’s widgets and Open Data for developers, including our recent improvements. Get your website looking great with our redesigned Journey Planner widget!

What is a widget ?
A “widget” is a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship. Widgets can be considered as a downloadable small application which look and act like traditional apps, but are implemented using web technologies and our API.

What’s new ?
In October 2014, we re-designed our journey planner widget and banner to give them the same look and feel as our new website. The new widget also has email authentication built in so that we can get in touch with you quicker in future if we intend to change the widgets.

This is our brand new design for the TfL JP widget, which is now available for download.
This is our brand new design for the TfL JP widget, which is now available for download.

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Statistics: How you are accessing our new site

Here are some simple statistics on the technology you have been using to access our new website in the first 16 days since its launch.

The big news is that mobile devices have officially overtaken desktop PCs and currently make up 52 per cent of all visits to our new site.

With 52% of visits, mobile devices have overtaken desktop in visits to our new site.

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