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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Reported issues on O2

8pm update – 13 June 2014

O2 have carried out a network update which should resolve this issue. To activate the update you may need to turn ‘flight mode’ on and off before refreshing the TfL website. After that it should work fine.

Please let us know if you still have any problems with this.

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Reported Issues with O2

We’re seeing some issues when customers try to access our site over the O2 mobile network. If you are with another provider which uses the O2 mobile network you may have this problem too – for example on Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff and Lycamobile.

What’s the problem?

For some users the site does not load properly and key features cannot be used. You can tell if you are affected because the ‘menu’ button at the top of the page does not load and the ‘Plan a journey’ box will not open up when you touch it.

TfL website with O2 loading problem

TfL website with O2 loading problem – note there’s no menu button at the top right

What should I do?

If you are being affected by this then using the link https://www.tfl.gov.uk will resolve it for now (the key bit being the ‘https’ part which switches to a secure connection).

When will it be fixed?

We are working with O2 to understand what is happening and to get it resolved as quickly as possible, whether that’s by making changes on our side or at the mobile network end of things.

Wifi usage is unaffected – the problem is only occurring when using a mobile connection.

If you are affected please let us know, we’re assessing how widespread the problem is.

New website 10 weeks on

It’s been just over 10 weeks since we launched the new site, and it’s a good opportunity to round up how the site is doing, what improvements we’ve made and our future plans.

How’s the new site doing?

The site is as busy as ever, with continued high usage from all types of devices.

TfL website key metrics from March to June 2014

Key metrics from March to June 2014

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