Bristol transport API set to spawn new apps

App and software developers will later this month gather for a hackathon to find uses for a new API newly created for Bristol’s transport services.

Bristol City Council has developed the API, which will provide free access information, including real-time feeds from buses and trains, with supplier Urban Things.

Some of the data comes from the council’s open data portal while others come from sources including the National Rail Enquiries’ “Darwin” service.

Director of the council’s Bristol Futures team, Stephen Hilton said: “The introduction of the Bristol API (Transport) is a huge step for Bristol City Council and could improve predicted timings as well as help with journey planning for the public.

“Using data in this way shows how the council is actively trying to tackle the challenges in the city by collaborating with the tech community and leaders in the industry.”

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A beta version of the API went live on 7 December 2015 and became public on 14 December.

And on 23 January, UrbanThings and the council will run a transport-themed challenge event.

App and software developers, as well as those from the broader tech community, have been invited attend, with the day’s most successful creation being awarded a top prize.

A council statement said that the Bristol API is not restricted to public transport, also giving instant updates on occupancy in local car parks as well as electric vehicle charging locations.

It said: “It is currently possible to provide live statistics on bicycle dock availability in London and New York, meaning the API will be attractive to developers who have global success in their sights and further adding to the benefits of the Bristol API.”

Colin Marrs

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