New smart tools to improve travel in the North of England

Regional transport body Transport for the North (TfN) has awarded contracts for two new ‘smart’ tools that are expected to transform the provision of public transport data and make journeys on the region’s network simpler and easier to plan.

Trapeze Group UK will deliver an ‘Open Data Hub’ and Ito World will provide a ‘Disruptions Messaging Tool’.

Both initiatives are part of Phase Two of the £150m, Department for Transport funded, Integrated and Smart Travel (IST) programme which aims to deliver ‘London-style’ account-based ticketing with contactless capped payments on multi-mode, multi-operator public transport journeys across the North of England.

The Open Data Hub will be a pan-Northern tool for local authorities and operators to collate and host transport-related data such as fares and disruption information. This information will then be made openly available to suppliers of journey planning apps and other data developers to provide to passengers. Developed by mobility technology solution provider Trapeze Group UK, the £260,000 hub is expected to go live in December 2019.

Under a £500,000 contract, transport and mobility data specialist Ito World will deliver its Disruptions Messaging Tool, designed to rapidly share planned and unplanned disruption messaging across social media and on-street displays in order to keep public transport customers up to date with anything affecting their journeys.

This investment will bring improvements in the way passengers are able to travel across the region, according to TfN chief executive Barry White.

Wherever you are going, journeys on public transport should be simple and easy to plan for,” he said. “By providing quality, open and reliable data, these ‘smart’ innovations will help make getting from A to B an improved and more seamless experience.”

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