TfL Widgets – Latest Updates


In this post, I’d like to share an update on TfL widgets.

What is a widget ?
A “widget” is a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship. Widgets can be considered as a downloadable small application which look and act like traditional apps, but are implemented using web technologies and our API.

What’s new ?
In October 2014, we re-designed our journey planner widget and banner to give them the same look and feel as our new website. The new widget also has email authentication built in so that we can get in touch with you quicker in future if we intend to change the widgets.

This is our brand new design for the TfL JP widget, which is now available for download.

This is our brand new design for the TfL JP widget, which is now available for download.

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Journey Planner and Airports

In this post, I’m taking a look at how Journey Planner provides information on travelling to airports. This is very topical at the moment, with London Travel Watch (LTW) producing a report called Improving Public Transport Access to London Airports earlier this month. The report is available to download from this page.

For several years, the different airlines at Heathrow have been available as Points of Interest within Journey Planner. This means customers can enter their airline name to be routed directly to check-in, without needing to check which terminal they are flying from.  This information fully reflects the latest moves into Terminal 2.

The different airlines at Heathrow are included as Points of Interest within Journey Planner

The different airlines at Heathrow are included as Points of Interest, so you can be routed directly to check-in. 

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Journey Planner and Accessibility

Myself and the Journey Planner team all attended the Access All Areas event at ExCeL London at the start of this month, which was a free public exhibition and conference about disabled and older people’s access to transport.

The event highlighted current and future innovations aimed at making it easier for everyone to get out and about in London. It also provided an opportunity for disabled and older people and their organisations to discuss priorities for accessibility with leaders in the transport field, whilst giving our team a valuable insight into how to further develop our information and options related to accessibility.

Journey Planner Accessibility

Journey Planner will provide customised journeys based upon your accessibility requirements


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Journey Planner – Getting to Sports Grounds

With six Premier League football grounds and seven Football League sides in London, not to mention the likes of the Olympic Stadium, Wembley, Twickenham and Lord’s, it’s little surprise that one of the first innovations on Journey Planner was to add the different entrances to sports venues as points of interest.

This originated with the opening of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in 2006, but has evolved to include all other sports grounds in the London area, and was a vital contribution to the effective Travel Demand Management (TDM) approach used during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Emirates Stadium

Adding different entrances to sports grounds into Journey Planner started with The Emirates Stadium in 2006.

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Journey Planner – Data Updates

The second in this series of posts looks more broadly at Journey Planner, offering an introduction to how data is made available on the system, from the research stage through to release.

Because we aim to ensure the system is as accurate and as broad-ranging as possible, we have recently increased the frequency of our data updates, which are now up to five times a week.

Journey Planner

Bus and Underground timetables are imported from internal systems and are subject to further processing to ensure they are correctly reflected in journey solutions.

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Journey Planner – Points of Interest

This is the first in a series of posts covering new or existing functionalities of Journey Planner, with the intention being that users (including developers subscribing to the API) can get the best from the system. In this post I’ll be looking at Points of Interest (POIs) and how we aim to make this information as comprehensive as possible, as well as asking for your suggestions for any new POIs you feel should be added to the system.

We believe that the Journey Planner should not just be accurate, but tailored to the needs of people who use it. To support this we actively manage a detailed database of Points of Interest within Journey Planner, covering places people are likely to travel by public transport, or cycle to. This is a combination of a bulk upload, and points we have added ourselves.

Journey Planner - Points of Interest

Journey Planner includes lots of attractions advertised in complementary publications such as Time Out

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Blue/Green deployment strategy in the new TfL website

Hello Folks,

Thanks for popping by, I’m Tariq Khurshid and lead on the website (www.tfl.gov.uk), Service Desk, Change & Release Management. In this blog I’d like to share with you the success we have enjoyed using the “blue/green” approach for software release and deployment in the new website.

This is a summary of our experience doing blue/green software deployments and releases to tfl.gov.uk using Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure.

Blue/green deployment of software to the website is a process that we use to safely release new versions of (www.tfl.gov.uk) without any down time or outages for customers.

The key to success is to maintain two identical production environments to switch between. As (www.tfl.gov.uk) is now hosted on virtual servers in the cloud, this is relatively easy and cost effective.

Blue/green deployment allows us to develop software to a high standard, test independently of the live site and easily package and then deploy to live. This means we have the ability to rapidly, reliably and repeatedly push out enhancements and bug fixes to (www.tfl.gov.uk) at low risk, with minimal overheads, and best of all,….. no outages for customers.

blue-green schematic final

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