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I’m Gerard, and I work on the data side of the new Journey Planner, contributing to its technical specification.

Complementing the award-winning user experience work being done on the new website, we are hard at work ensuring that the dataset which powers Journey Planner is constantly being improved to meet the ever-growing demands of website users and open data subscribers.

Although the Journey Planner has a radical new look in the new website, through an API, it uses the same “engine” used by the present website. With traffic to this engine at its highest ever level, data range and accuracy has never been more important.

We have recently updated the postcodes on Journey Planner to include new postcodes recently introduced by Royal Mail, and we are currently looking to add new Points of Interest for venues and locations around London that don’t already exist – please let us know if there are any you would like to be added.

Preparations are also well underway for Christmas and New Year special services, with more information coming available in the next few weeks. In particular, we will be updating timetables ‘live’ on New Year’s Eve to ensure that the journeys offered reflect road openings and closures. We are working closely with other parts of TfL – including our colleagues at the Centrecomm bus control centre and in the Bus Operations and Marketing teams – to deliver this.

As always, do feel free to get in touch via the feedback form on the beta site.

Posted by TfL Digital

Staff from TfL’s Online team share what they’re up to, from API and Open Data updates through to Web Analytics, Social Media and further development of tfl.gov.uk

4 Comments

  1. Quite alot of pens for working on a website there 🙂 You guys and girls are doing a great job though! can’t wait for it to launch 🙂

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    1. Thanks Kevin – everyone is hard at work!

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  2. How about using FourSquare as a POI database?

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  3. I am most concerned by the dumming down of information in the new Journey Planner. This is a subject that I raised earlier, but the outcome seems to be even worse than I had feared.

    The example that I gave before was for a journey from Bromley South to Heathrow 123. This is a journey that people living in South East London may well want to investigate. If they are flying from Heathrow it is quite likely that they will want to do this in advance and so not necessarily on their mobile phone. It is also a journey that they may not do that frequently and so will not be familiar with the different elements of it. It may also be one for which they do not have the appropriate coverage on any existing type of season ticket, including Travelcards.

    Having decided that I need to be at Heathrow by 1045 if I put the routing into the new Journey Planner it will tell me that I take a train (indicated by a National Rail symbol) at 0934 and travel via Victoria and Oxford Circus on the tube to Paddington. From there I need to take another train (also indicated by a National Rail symbol) to Heathrow. So, I will go to Bromley South with my PAYG Oyster and follow the route given in Journey Planner in the belief that this is all I shall need for my journey. Everything will be fine until I get to Paddington, where the transfer instructions conflict with the map and will not easily get me to the Heathrow Express platforms. Having got to the correct platform as these trains are open boarding I will be on the train and have departed before discovering that my Oyster is NOT accepted as it is NOT a National Rail service and I have to pay a fare of £26.00 single.

    If,I had happened to look up the same journey last week, using the old site, it would have given me the same journey but also told me that my Oyster would not be valid and I could try to find some other route. Indeed, by using the old site it still gives me this information. This does, however, require an amount of knowledge in how to manipulate the system as, unlike the National Rail planner, the TfL one only allows you to add a via point, not an excluded point. With the push by TfL for people to use Oyster or a contactless bank card the inclusion of an Oyster only qualifier to the travel options is urgently required.

    Given the chance of having a new website it seems great mistake to have tried to fix the bits of the original one that weren’t broken. The amount of information that has had to be put back because users have complained about its absence is testimony to this.

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