Configuration & Change Management in Agile DevOps – Part 2

In the second part of this series on configuration and change management in the TfL hybrid Agile, DevOps & ITIL world, I’ll take a look at infrastructure as code and the CMDB. 

Configuration & Change management in Agile DevOps – Part 2
Infrastructure as code – CloudFormation script for a virtual TfL server in the cloud

Continue reading Configuration & Change Management in Agile DevOps – Part 2

Demand for Digital Services During Today’s Disruption

As expected, we saw very significant demand for digital services during this morning’s disruption as torrential rain and signal failures affected a number of Tube and Rail lines. 

Website Traffic - June 23 morning peak
TfL website traffic during the June 23 morning peak, showing a significant increase on yesterday, and the same time last week

Continue reading Demand for Digital Services During Today’s Disruption

Configuration & Change Management in Agile DevOps – Part 1

We have successfully adopted and transitioned into DevOps, Agile and continuous integration with weekly deployments of code, new features and functionality to the TfL website. This is the first in a series of posts looking at how we manage these processes behind the scenes. 

Change, release, configuration & service transition is moving from gatekeeping to devolved, trusted & collaborative safe continuous delivery
Change, release, configuration & service transition is moving from gatekeeping to devolved, trusted & collaborative safe continuous delivery

Continue reading Configuration & Change Management in Agile DevOps – Part 1

Countdown moving to the TfL website

If you still use our old countdown websites to check on live bus arrivals, you’ll notice a change from June 1 as you’ll be redirected to the main TfL website instead.

Many of you may have already seen the message about this change, which confirmed that the following websites will no longer be available from June 1:

http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk

http://m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk

http://accessible.countdown.tfl.gov.uk

Instead, you’ll be able to check for live bus information on the TfL home page, using the new favourites feature to get live arrivals for your stops.

Save your favourite bus stops in the 4 steps shown here: 1) Find a bus stop 2) Add it to your favourites 3) Select bus routes 4) Get live arrivals
Save your favourite bus stops in the 4 steps shown here: 1) Find a bus stop 2) Add it to your favourites 3) Select bus routes 4) Get live arrivals

Continue reading Countdown moving to the TfL website

Save your favourites on our website

When you visit our website, you’ll notice a star in the top right corner of the screen. Just click on it to enter a new space for your favourites on the website.

Find a bus stop, add it to your favourites, select bus routes, get live arrivals
Save bus stop in the 4 steps shown here: 1) Find a bus stop  2) Add it to your favourites  3) Select bus routes  4) Get live arrivals

Continue reading Save your favourites on our website

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

Improved Roads Open Data – Car Parks & JamCams

In my previous post on Roads Open Data I outlined the importance of providing quality data for London’s roads, particularly at a time when our Road Modernisation Plan is being implemented and we are urging drivers to check for disruption before they travel.

We continue to make improvements to our roads open data, with London Underground live car parking spaces availability now available through the Unified API, as well as live video JamCams that give a far better indication of how traffic is flowing in the Capital.

London Underground car parks

London Underground has over 60 car parks with over 11,000 spaces. With the help of our partners NCP and SmartParking, we have released live data showing available spaces for 25 of these car parks. We are seeing whether we can expand the feed to cover all London Underground car parks in the future.

We don’t have this showing on tfl.gov.uk yet, but we’ve made the feed available as open data in the Unified API so that the dev community can have a head start.

You can get the full list of Car Parks from the Places API, which can also be searched by lat/long bounding box or radius. For each car park, we return information such as the address, opening hours, payment methods and facilities, and in some cases, the live occupancy. In the example below, Barkingside Station car park, the OccupancyUrl is returned, indicating that live data is available.

{
  "id": "CarParks_800491",
  "url": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Place/CarParks_800491",
  "commonName": "Barkingside Stn (LUL)",
  "placeType": "CarPark",
  "additionalProperties": [
  {
    "category": "Description",
    "key": "NumberOfSpaces",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "46",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  },
  {
    "category": "Description",
    "key": "NumberOfDisabledBays",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "2",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  },
  {
    "category": "Meta",
    "key": "OccupancyUrl",
    "sourceSystemKey": "CarParks",
    "value": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Occupancy/CarPark/CarParks_800491",
    "modified": "2016-01-07T15:45:43.153"
  }...

The URL is based on the place id of the car park, for example “CarParks_800491” so if you know the Car Park id, you can go straight to the occupancy data. We use a separate URL because we have a much shorter time-to-live in our cache for the occupancy vs. the place data (60 seconds and 1 day respectively). In the example below, using Barkingside again, we can see that there’s no spaces available right now.

{
 "id": "CarParks_800491",
 "bays": [
    {
     "bayType": "Disabled",
     "bayCount": 2,
     "free": 0,
     "occupied": 2
    },
    {
     "bayType": "Pay and Display Parking",
     "bayCount": 45,
     "free": 0,
     "occupied": 45
    }
  ],
  "name": "Barkingside Stn (LUL)",
  "carParkDetailsUrl": "https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Place/CarParks_800491"
}

Continue reading Improved Roads Open Data – Car Parks & JamCams