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.  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

An edit was made regarding licensing 18.11.17

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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Transport Special

Tuesday 28th June 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Spaceport X
1st Floor
24-26 Lever Street
Manchester
M1 1DZ

More details and directions here

A yearly look at the state of open transport data in Greater Manchester and beyond. This event will look at how open data can make the way we navigate and use our transport system easier, more pleasant and better.

TfGM will be demonstrating their new API portal and the Highways data they will be making available through the AToM (Advanced Traffic Management System). So if you are interested in getting access to the portal pre-release and trying out the APIs bring a laptop.

There will also be an update from TfGM as to what will be coming later in the year and an opportunity to hear about other transport-focussed open data initiatives.

Register here

Open Data Manchester – Transport Special

6.30pm – 9pm Tuesday 25th February 2014
Greenheys Business Centre
Manchester Science Park
Pencroft Way
Manchester M15 6JJ
Map here

An efficient transportation system that allows people to move around easily for work and leisure is an essential part of today’s modern city. Being able to make decisions on how we travel based on convenience, cost and accessibility especially if information is updated in real time, should allow a more enlightened traveling public.

Open data offers a chance to create a more intelligent environment for making travel decisions. Traditionally the data needed to create applications and services to enable these decisions would be closed due to restrictive licensing, technological difficulties or confused policy decisions, but this is starting to change.

This month’s edition of Open Data Manchester brings together a host of transport based open data initiatives.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will be deliver an update as to the progress that they are making with open data now that the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the DRNETIS (Dynamic Road Network Efficiency and Travel Informaton System) deployment.
C3 and DRNETIS Diagram

Rockshore who’ve created the Network Rail APIs will talk about the progress and uptake of these and answer questions regarding their use.

FutureEverything – Will talk about a new set of APIs that allow people to access up to data scheduling, arrivals and departure information and other related data from their CitySDK programme

The people from ThoughtWorks will talk about their journey planner for Manchester’s trams Tramchester an insight into how they created using graph data bases can be found here

There will also be an opportunity to look at the new Highways Agency NTIS real time services.

So if you are transportista developing the next generation of transport services, data wrangler trying to understand the complexities of our transit system or just someone who would like to get from A to B that little bit easier, this edition is for you.

As always there will be opportunity to present projects, ask questions and network.

We advise people to book through the Eventbrite link here

CitySDK Short Horizontal EUThis event is partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.

Open Data Manchester – By Jove it’s June.

6.30pm – 8.30pm Tuesday 25th June 2013
MadLab – 36 – 40 Edge Street Manchester M4 1HN

Manchester’s premiere open data meetup will be taking place once more this month.

Open Data Manchester has been meeting regularly since the beginning of 2010 and is a free and open forum for discussion and practice around open data.

It is a chance to catch up on all stuff ‘open data’ that is taking place both locally and beyond. There are a number of initiatives around and it would be good to catch hold of them.

If you have any projects or ideas you want to discuss or have an open data itch that you need to scratch, feel free to bring them along.

 

Routes to the Future: An Innovation Challenge

FutureEverything and Transport for Greater Manchester present the Routes to the future: An innovation challenge, an intensive 48 hour competition aimed at coders and creative software developers to build new, useful applications from TfGM’s data that will improve the public transport experience for people of Greater Manchester. There are cash and development prizes available for the best ideas.

Being held as part of the FutureEverything Summit of Ideas and Digital Invention, the weekend will be held at Four Piccadilly Place and will begin straight after the main FutureEverything conference ends with a launch event from 6pm – 7.30pm on Friday 22 March. The innovation challenge itself will begin at 8am on Saturday 23 March.
Routes to the future is set to be an intense, productive and exciting collaboration between the brightest minds in software development and data processing. Entries from both teams and individuals are welcome. The cash prize and development fund available is over £16,000.

Challenge Categories are:
Best use of real-time data
Best use of multiple datasets
Best application created on the CitySDK API
Most Innovative use of data
Best U21 application
Developers Prize

Amongst the datasets TfGM will make available will be GTFS schedules and realtime Centreline positional information as well as the data already available through the DataGM – The Greater Manchester Datastore.

Click here to sign up

Routes to the Future: An Innovation Challenge is a partnership between TfGM and FutureEverything supported by Open Data Institute, Tech Hub Manchester and Manchester University

Open Data Manchester – January 2013 edition

6.30pm – 8.30pm Tuesday 29th January 2013
MadLab – 36 – 40 Edge Street Manchester M4 1HN

Open Data Manchester is a meetup for all people who are interested in making data open for the benefit of citizens, businesses and public bodies alike.

The meetings are mix of presentation, conversation and sharing of tips, hacks and data. The event is an open forum and free.

Sign up on Eventbrite

It’s 2013 and hopefully everyone is rested after the Christmas break. 2013 looks like it is going to be an interesting year as far as open data in Manchester is concerned with a number of initiatives including the FutureEverything Summit of Ideas and Digital Invention – happening in March.

Topics to be covered will include ‘The Business of Open Data’ workshop happening on the 19th and 20th March and more significantly Routes to the Future – Transport Innovation Challenge for Greater Manchester happening 22nd -24th March. Will there at last be a release of realtime data from TfGM? – All will be revealed at the meeting.

If you have anything that you want to discuss, showcase or point out at the meeting – just let us know.

Open Data Manchester – November 2012 Edition

6.30pm – 8.30pm Tuesday 27th November 2012
MadLab – 36 – 40 Edge Street Manchester M4 1HN

Sign up using Eventbrite

The next Open Data Manchester should be a good one. Hot off the back of the Manchester Hackathon we will be showcasing some of the things developed from some of the participants and having a bit of a debrief. Overall the feedback has been really positive but it would be good to see what could be improved.

As part of the Hackathon there were a number of datasets released by Salford, Trafford and most impressively by Manchester City Council. Some of the data released is a first for a local authority and some of it is quite contentious so worth a look.

Open Data Manchester will be hosting a delegation from Brazil who are on a technical visit to the UK to find out more about the open data, transparency and accountability, and Freedom of Information.

Finally if you are interested in how applicaitons develop during a hackathon, John Rees took a screenshot every 30 seconds whilst building his multi prize winning SATLAV application

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZcUEXJ0MhY]


Open Data Manchester is partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.

The Manchester Hackathon not bad for No.1

For those of you who missed it, the first Manchester Hackathon occurred last weekend. Manchester City Council, FutureEverything and ourselves came together to create 24 hours of coding deliciousness.

The hackathon was part of Manchester City Council’s commitment to open data and was the motivation for the release of datasets, APIs and documentation for the event. Data can be found here on the MDDA website The variety of data available ranges from trees which is all the more pertinent as Ash Dieback spreads through the country, Contact Centre data and Contaminated Land which is a hugely contentious dataset. A lot of the data released was in consultation with the Open Data Manchester community.

The format of the Hackathon created an intense atmosphere in MadLab as 45 coders and designers strove to create something demonstrable by the 5pm deadline. In the end 16 teams presented their creations in two minute quick fire presentations.

The winners were:

Best Under 21’s Creation – £600 – Bus Tracker by 19 year old MMU student Bilawal Hameed, the Bus Tracker app will let you find the nearest bus stop to you, direct you to it and give you the times and destinations of the next bus due.

Best Visualisation and Developers Prize (voted for by everyone taking part in the Hackathon)- £600 for each prize, was won John Rees for his app called Sat Lav. If you are caught short in the City, you just open the app and it will direct to nearest public toilet including those in shops and bars which allow the public to use.

Best Locative Application, the £600 prize was won by Matt Schofield for his Taxi Rank Finder app. Matt’s app shows the nearest taxi rank to you and directs you to it. It also shows if it is a marshalled rank and its opening times.

Best Solution for an Identified Problem (£600 prize) was won by Slawomir Wdowka and Imran Younis for their Manchester Voice which would allow the public to submit ideas to the council, then checks records to see if other people have made the same suggestion. When an idea is developed it would allow the public to vote on it.

The grand prize of £1,000 + £3,600 in development funding was won by Data Crossfader, created by James Rutherford and Ashley Herriott, a visualisation tool that plots information on a map of Manchester to allow people to compare important sets of data. For example, using postcode details it shows the locations of road traffic incidents on a map, and then adds where speed cameras are, so if they is a particular area where accidents happen which are not covered by a camera, it easily shows that on a map.

By the end of the event a number of developers had been approached to develop their ideas further and we’ll try and keep track of where that gets to.

For a much more in depth post by James Rutherford click here

The Manchester Hackathon – 17th November

Calling all hackers, coders and creative collaborators – Manchester needs you to shape the future of the digital city.

For the first time ever, the City of Manchester invites you to dig underneath its digital skin. FutureEverything, Open Data Manchester and Manchester City Council are looking for experts and innovators to hack, code, programme and experiment with the city’s sets of open data to build new applications and develop future services.

Utilising the open data sets from DataGM made available by Manchester City Council and public sector partners, participants are welcome to produce anything they wish – develop applications to help people find their way around, stay safe, discover new experiences and everything and anything in between. All data is released under the Open Government Licence.

Taking place at MadLab in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Saturday 17th November, the Manchester Hackathon is set to be an intense, productive and exciting collaboration between the brightest minds in software development and data processing. Entries from both teams and individuals are welcome, and there are cash prizes to be won for the best product at the end of the session, including;

    • Grand Prize – £4,600*
    • Best Under 21’s Creation – £600
    • Best Visualisation – £600
    • Best Locative Application – £600
    • Developer’s Prize – £600
    • Best Solution for an Identified Problem – £600

 

* £1000 prize & £3,600 development funding

The event is completely free to enter and open to all. Register HERE

The prizes will be selected by a panel of independent industry experts, including Dave Carter (MDDA) and Lou Cordwell (magneticNorth).

The Hackathon takes place on Saturday 17th November 9am – 7pm, with a warmup and networking session beforehand at MDDA (Lower Ground Floor, 117-119 Portland St, Manchester, M1 6ED) on Friday 16th November 6.30 – 8.30pm

 

The Manchester Hackathon is partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.