Fare’s Fair – Why we need open fares data for public transport

Being able to understand how much your journey is going to cost is essential for encouraging mobility by public transport in our modern age. Not knowing how much a journey is going to cost before you make it, hinders forward planning and creates a barrier to use. How many people have stepped on to a bus only to find that the journey was more expensive than they first thought? Or that the fare charged yesterday was different than the fare you got charged today?

To this end transport campaigners have been vocal in their efforts to get public transport agencies and operators of public bus services to release fares data, so that people can make intelligent choices about the way that they get around. Transport Hack organised by the fantastic people at ODILeeds is one such example of this happening. Open Data Manchester was itself involved with opening up the bus fares data for all of Greater Manchester in 2010, only for TfGM to discontinue.

Yesterday we learn’t that TfGM had knocked back an FOI request for Manchester Metrolink fares data, citing issues of Commercial Interest.

We think this is wrong on a number of points.

  • Manchester Metrolink is the only tram operator in Greater Manchester – not counting the fantastic tramway at Heaton Park, which we don’t think is a competitor
  • The data is already in the public domain – therefore it wouldn’t take that much effort to aggregate it or get a picture of the fares structure
  • It is in the public interest to get as many people to understand the cost of mobility in Greater Manchester
  • Closed systems hinder the development of seamless ticketing and multi-modal travel by putting opaque commercial interests in front of public service delivery

To this end Open Data Manchester set about compiling the fares data for the Metrolink network. It did’t take that long – about a day – and we used programmatic as well as manual methods. The data is in tabular Excel form as well as a parsed text document. It is provided as is and we can’t be liable for any mistakes or inconsistencies – although we have checked it as much as we can. The data is available under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 licence Please let us know if you find any errors or create something interesting.

The data can be found here

Minor edits – addition of a link and additional bullet point were made at 14.00, 20.10.17

Open Data Manchester – Next Steps

Thursday 21st September 18.30-20.30
1st Floor
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester
M4 2AH

Register here

After seven years Open Data Manchester has become a registered company and soon it will become a CIC. This will allow us to deliver better programmes and also work with others more effectively.

If you would like to hear more and suggest ideas for future activity. Join us

Internet of Things and Open Data Publishing

Tuesday October 3rd 10.30 – 13.30

FACT
88 Wood Street
Liverpool
L1 4DQ

Register for free here

If you have an interest in internet of things and how the data produced can contribute to the broader data economy, this is your chance to have a say.

The internet of things offers unparalleled means to create data from sensors, devices and the platforms behind them. This explosion of connectedness is creating huge opportunity for building new products and services, and enhancing existing ones. With these opportunities come some gnarly challenges. These exist around standards in data and protocols, security, discoverability, openness, ethics and governance. None of these are trivial but all of them need to be understood.

This workshop is for people involved in open data, Smart Cities and the internet of things who are starting to come up against and answer some of these challenges.

It is being run by Open Data Manchester and ODI Leeds for the Open Data Institute to look at the future of open data publishing and IoT

The Open Data Institute (ODI) is always working towards improvements in open data – from making it easier to find and use right through to refining and implementing standards. They are very keen to work with people who use open data to see what they can be doing to help and improve open data for everyone.

The workshops are open to everyone who wants to join in, contribute, or work with us. The output from the workshops will be put forward to the ODI and the UK government with recommendations on how open data should be published.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

If you can’t make it but would still like to contribute, we have an ‘open document’ available here. We encourage people to add their questions, comments, suggestions, etc.

After the workshop there is the launch of LCR Activate a £5m project led by Liverpool John Moores University with the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) and the LCR Local Enterprise Partnership. A three-year European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) initiative using AI, Big Data/High Performance Computing, Merging Data and Cloud technologies for the benefit of SMEs in the Liverpool City Region. Register here.

2017 programme update

It has taken longer than expected but our 2017 programme is finally getting off the ground. The programme, highlighted in the last post, was a provisional one and we hope to track it as well as we can over the coming months.

February kicks off our programme with two events both related to last November’s Echo Chambers and ‘Post-fact’ Politics event. On Saturday 18th February, in partnership with The Democratic Society we will be running a workshop that develops the ideas from November’s event and turns them into action. The event is free and if you couldn’t make it to the first event and would like to attend, we will quickly get you up to speed. The evening of Tuesday 28th February will be a regular Open Data Manchester meeting where initiatives developed from the workshop will be showcased. As always if you want to add to the event in any way, contact us or just turn up.

The evening meeting will be a chance to look at national and international open data events taking place in the coming months.

Provisional programme for 2017

IMG_0066From last night’s planning meeting we now have a provisional programme for 2017 and it is quite an ambitious one. What is great from our perspective is that there is a continuation of a number of themes that we have been looking at over the last year and a resurfacing of perennial ones. Highlights include the ‘making and doing’ workshops that have been developed as part of the Echo Chambers and ‘Post-Fact’ Politics programme and the Visualising Data workshops. There are a number of sector and technically specific events but one to watch out for is alternative ways of looking at the world which will be a day of walks, talks and explorations. As always there is a large dose of how data and technology impact on society and much more.

This is a provisional programme and we are looking for as much input as possible (Dates and sessions are subject to change). Please click on the Google Doc and add comments. We are looking for people who can contribute, sponsors, venues and partners.

Link to Google Doc

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Looking back and planning ahead – November 29th

18.30 – 20.30, Tuesday 29th November 2016
Spaceport X
24-26 Lever Street
Manchester
M1 1DZ

Help build Open Data Manchester’s programme for 2017

It is the time of year when we step back and take a look at what we’ve done over the past year, look at what’s happening in the world of data, and plan for 2017.

Open Data Manchester is a community of many diverse interests from transportation to politics and everything in between. The events that we put on are representative of this and driven by our community. You want more visualisation? You got it. You want more health? It’s on the list. You want more democracy? We can do that too. We need people to help programme and deliver these events – after all it is what we have been doing since 2010.

Come down to Spaceport X on the 29th and help make a great programme for 2017.

Fancy sponsoring our 7th birthday on March 28th 2017? Get in touch and celebrate with us.

Register here

Slides and audio from What happened? The data behind the referendum

July’s event looking at how data was used before, during and after the referendum provoked plenty of thought provoking discussion. The two presentations from Celia Russell and Julian Tait have now been uploaded on to SlideShare and the audio posted on Soundcloud. Unfortunately due to a noisy video projector the audio isn’t the best but the presentations and discussions from Michelle Brook, Bob Barr, Celia Russell and Julian Tait are audible and have been edited down as separate files.

Celia Russell – Making sense of Brexit?

Julian Tait – Some graphs and data around the referendum

The audio can be found here

We are putting together a follow up event looking at belief, evidence and politics that will take place in November.

Open Smart Cities

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As part of Wuthering Bytes  a one day event looking at how to apply technology, data science and innovation to the places we live.

We have partnered with: ODI Leeds & sponsorsLeeds Data ThingThings Network (Leeds and Manchester)OpenData ManchesterCalderdale DataWorksMySocietyThe ODI, and more to be confirmed.

A full day of exploration, show & tell, and collaborative work – where we try and answer the questions:

Cities are about people arent they? And not everyone lives in a city.

&

What does that mean for your Smart City or Place , Internet of Things, [Insert New Thing] Technology, when it meets people?

By the end of the day we’ll all know more, have made new friends & maybe started to build new stuff (products, services, capability & capacity) which will lead to some answers to the question ‘But cities & places are about people aren’t they?’

More details and tickets here

Making data useful and other stories – How GM authorities are using data to help their citizens

6.30pm – 8.30pm, Tuesday 27th September 2016
Greenheys Business Centre
Manchester Science Park
Pencroft Way
Manchester M15 6JJ

Map here

Sign up on Eventbrite here

This month’s Open Data Manchester looks at how two local authorities are using data to deliver service.

Alison Mckenzie Folan and Alison Hughes from Wigan Council will show how they are using data and open data to help them engage the community, target resources and enhance services. Wigan Deal has been seen as an exemplar of engagement between the public sector, local businesses and community.

Jamie Whyte leads Trafford Innovation Lab which has been developing new and innovative ways to make open data understandable. The insight created has enabled community groups to use data to help them apply for funding, created resources for councillors and shown a spotlight onto the complex world of school admissions

Open Data Manchester events are spaces for learning, discussion and collaboration. The events are open and free

What happened? Looking at the data behind the referendum

Tuesday 26th July, 18.30 – 20.30
CoopHQ, 1 Angel Meadows, Manchester M60 0AG

Partial truths, distorted facts and outright lies have helped create the febrile climate that exists post Brexit. The information war that took place prior to the referendum created an atmosphere in which rational judgements were hard to make and gut instinct rose to the fore. Within this context, advocates of Vote Leave rubbished experts and mishandled facts with glee. Anyone contesting these claims were branded as promoters of Project Fear and part of the expert-led conspiracy that sought to undermine the public’s right to self-determination.

Post referendum and the dust hasn’t yet settled. We are starting to see lots of data giving us insight into what happened – from polls to voting patterns, from demographics to economic forecasts. This is an opportunity to analyse and share thoughts on a most extraordinary event.

We are an open forum and anyone who has insight and analysis to share are encouraged to participate.

Tickets are free and available here