#TravelHack - Fare Enough

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#TravelHack © Amy Evans

#TravelHack2 - Tuesday 10 October at ODI Leeds - Register here

Just like trains or buses, you wait for an awesome transport hackathon and then two come along at once!

#TravelHack was an incredible success - more than 80 people helped write Transport for the North's data strategy in a single day in June. It had such a volume of output that it needed two blog posts to cover it all - you can read part 1 here and read part 2 here. #TravelHack generated a lot of conversation and debate, and there was an obvious desire to keep the momentum going and explore transport data and solutions further. Paul Connell, founder of ODI Leeds, has been working with engaged organisations like Highways England and the Department for Transport, alongside Transport for the North, to work out what happens next.

The energy has been so strong that another event is on its way this year! With a working title of #TravelHack2 - Fare Enough, the event is focused on the presentation of fare information to customers, expanding on the ideas and explorations from #TravelHack. Bus fares have been a thorny issue for some time, with competing operators having vastly different pricing structures and ticket types. There is currently no national data standard for fares in the UK. The Bus Services Act should help with this, but in the meantime, TfN have a vision to create a fares dataset for the North. This can then be used by local authorities, transport operators, app developers and anyone else that wants to present fare information to customers.

  • We can confirm that TfN, WYCA, and bus operators in the region will be making their data (real and dummy) available for #TravelHack2, so it's a ripe opportunity to review, challenge, and make things with the data.
  • The Department for Transport will also be attending to give us an update on the Buses Bill, including how data will be used, managed, shared, etc. If you miss them this time, there will be an event in November focused solely on the Buses Bill and data, so check back over the next few weeks.

Public transport is vital for so many people in the North but it currently doesn't deliver the standard that could improve everybody's commute. People arrive at work frazzled and tired from their stressful journey, or families miss the opportunity to visit areas of outstanding beauty because tickets can be prohibitive. There is an incredible amount of potential to be unlocked in the North, with transport being a huge part of that. The unmet need can be tackled, one piece at a time. We made a start with #TravelHack - let's keep that going to make a transport system that people deserve.

We're inviting everyone who came to the first #TravelHack - plus anyone who engaged with it online or who have a specific interest in fares data and the presentation of fares information - to join us on 10 October 2017 at ODI Leeds. We will work through how to make fares easier for operators and customers, how to make that data available for all (and keep it maintained), and start building prototypes that will help that all happen.