Train companies to release data to help tech firms build passenger apps
Government and industry body announce plans to increase the role of digital and data across the UK’s rail network
The government has announced plans to open up data from train companies to better enable the development of apps for passengers.
Working with industry body the Rail Delivery Group, the government intends to foster closer ties between the technology industry and rail companies by encouraging the latter to provide the former with more and better data. This information – which should ultimately be provided in real time, the government said – will include data on service performance and delays, as well as details of train facilities, such as number of carriages, toilets, and refreshments.
Such data-sharing will enable rail companies to plan more successfully and to pre-emptively address problems before they arise, the government believes. What is more, developers will be able to use this data to create apps that provide up-to-the-minute information that allows passengers to better plan their journeys.
- Feature: On track for digital – building the railway of the future
- No paper tickets needed by 2019 – government spends £80m on smart railways
- DfT paper urges policy and programme commitments for digital railway signalling
Transport minister Jo Johnson added: “This will speed the development of travel apps that provide passengers with helpful information about their journeys.”
Train companies have already released some data, and much more will follow over the coming months, the government said. The wider rail industry will also explore how best it can remove any obstacles to data-sharing. This might involve promoting standardisation of its practices for collecting and storing data, for example, or working to clarify how and where data can be used, and to what extent this will be hampered by commercial sensitivities.
Chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group Paul Plummer said: “Digital technology in rail already means more timely information and less time spent waiting, helping to put customers in charge and, as part of the rail industry’s plan to change and improve, we want to use technology to give customers more and more control.”
We revisit the big news and major events from the second half of 2018
PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall picks out the topics and trends that will dominate the year ahead, and revisits the predictions of a year ago to see any of them came to pass
Borough of Sutton to conduct 12-month experiment with flexible routes and app-based booking
PublicTechnology talks to Siim Sikkut about why data embassies and ‘invisible services’ are key to country’s technological future
BT shows how to plan and manage your network to unlock the rewards of the cloud
Whether you need mobile devices or fibre optics, cloud services or switchboard systems, with UniCORN you'll have more purchasing power and unlock benefits you wouldn't get alone
BT understand the public sector in the capital. Frameworks offer a single, simplified way to get the ICT products and services you need
Download Gartner's expert analysis to help you plan your SD-WAN implementation