Passengers are set to benefit from improved access to digital apps and sites to help plan, pay and access the transport system thanks to the government’s new Transport Data Strategy.
The Transport Data Strategy sets out plans for the greater use of data in transport and aims to improve how people find, use and get value from transport data to support greater innovation in the sector and deliver better services.
Better use of transport data use can improve interconnectivity between different types of transport, support the development of journey-planning apps and improve their accuracy, ultimately helping to make it easier for people to use and plan journeys.
Data can also help unlock additional benefits, such as new products and services for customers, while supporting employment opportunities in the transport sector.
Transport Technology Minister Jesse Norman said:
Better use of transport data will help to improve journeys for travellers, tackle climate change and grow the economy.
The Transport Data Strategy sets out the government’s vision in this area, creating the right framework for the market to innovate and transport users to benefit.
The Transport Data Strategy focuses on 5 key ambitions, including:
- improving data sharing to benefit transport users
- promoting data standards
- improving data skills in the workforce
- ensuring appropriate governance and communication with the sector
- providing leadership and support for the sector
As part of the strategy, the government is launching the ‘Find Transport Data’ pilot, a data catalogue to make it easier for innovators, researchers and others to find transport data, and ultimately deliver efficiencies and help improve services for customers.
The strategy builds on the good progress the government has already made in facilitating the opening up of third-party data through initiatives, such as:
- Bus Open Data Service (BODS)
- Street Manager
- the development of the Rail Data Marketplace
- the modernisation of National Public Transport Access Nodes (NaPTAN)
In addition, the strategy also considers data ethics to help guide the sector to ensure data is used appropriately and responsibly.
Head of Transport Innovation at Transport for West Midlands Chris Lane said:
TfWM welcomes the Transport Data Strategies goal of greater quality and use of transport data. We want to see Journeys for Everyone becoming so convenient, seamless, and trusted, that users will often give up driving their personal vehicles, not because they have to, but because the alternative is better for them and the environment.
A critical factor in achieving this is the customer receiving appropriate, accurate and timely information and having trust in the provider as they make their travel decisions.
Chief Executive of Traveline UK Julie Williams said:
We’re delighted to see the publication of the Transport Data Strategy, which will encourage the sharing of high-quality open transport data towards giving passengers a more informed choice about how they travel, and which will provide a framework within which innovative apps and services are free to develop and grow.
Along with the strategy we will publish a number of data sets and tools to help kickstart better data use in the sector. This includes:
- Local Authority Transport Data Guidance: a web-based tool to help councils use and share their transport data
- NaPTAN (National Public Transport Access Node) Discovery: this explores how the existing NaPTAN data set could be improved, such as the inclusion of accessibility data – NaPTAN is a dataset that details all the bus stops and rail stations in the country
- results from urban observatories sensors work: publishing work from an HMT Economic Data Innovation Fund project with the urban observatories in Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle on cataloguing, opening and visualising the transport-related data from their sensor networks
- publication of process evaluation report: this report details the evaluation of some of DfT’s data projects and assistance provided to other public bodies in designing and implementing their data projects