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#TravelHack2 - More than just a Fare'y Tale

More often than not, the way to someone's heart is through their stomach. Well, here at ODI Leeds we like to take that one step further - we firmly believe that a full stomach is a vital aid for innovation. After the locally-sourced lunch had been consumed the happy hackers turned their attentions to the task in hand - to be collaborative, innovative and, ultimately, productive in producing 'real-world' prototypes, using the available data.

Gathering around the whiteboard wall, the delegates quickly decided which prototypes they wanted to develop; the groups then broke away into the space, not wasting any precious time. #TravelHack2 is not about talking, it's about doing. And that's exactly what the delegates did - people from different backgrounds with different skillsets, many of them strangers before #TravelHack2, worked together towards a unified goal. For the next 2 and 1/2 hours the space was a hive of activity - ideas were thrown about, code was written and prototype plans were drawn up. The ODI Leeds team were on hand, not only to accommodate innovation, but also to monitor and maintain the positive atmosphere of the event. Throughout the afternoon a number of the delegates happily engaged with our 'Vox Pops', helping to give a bitesize insight into how #TravelHack2 was faring. The energy and enthusiasm was most certainly evident!

After what felt like just a few short minutes, it was soon time for the groups to come back together and present their achievements!

- YABBE (Yorks Account Based Bus Fare Engine)

This group created a mock-up app, incorporating capped fare products into a visual tool for the customer, considering all of the different ticket permutations to ensure that the best value ticket option is charged.

- TicketyBoo

Based on the customer's potential experience for buying tickets, the team produced 2 potential products; TicketyNow and TicketyLater. The first gave travel price data for the customer - at that exact moment - with minimal faff, while the second allowed the user to filter data and plan ahead to make sure they get the best financial deal.

- Fare's Fair

This group decided that when it comes to navigating fares, one prototype wasn't enough; they produced a prototype app that gave different financial options for the same journey and a prototype tool that told the customer the best stop to get off, economically.

- Fare Enough (not t'oyster for the north)

The team set out to produce a similar system to Oyster in London (the same but better). Instead of going for a techy-approach, this team decided to consider what policy-based processes are required to bring operators together, producing a fair and collaborative system.

- Bus Tracker

The Bus Tracker group looked to apply the real-world Welsh bus data to the TransXChange2GTFS software to visualise the bus journeys made throughout the day. Although there were issues in the code, the principle was there and could be applied to datasets from all over the country.

- Fare'ly Sure

The group looked to design an easy-to-use tool which simplifies and standardises geographic Fare Stage data.

- Fare'ytale Story

Using an existing Traveline Cyrmu data conversion tool, the team managed to take Yorkshire-based data from Data Mill North and standardise it to work in line with their Welsh system. This allows for a basic dataset to be given life as part of an interactive visual map.

- Bike & Ride

Utilising open-sourced mapping software and the groups published code, the group showed how this can be used by transport planners to best prioritise, geographically, where cycle parking sites at bus stops could be best located.

- Voice Interrogation of Data

There was a slight issue during the tech-demo (which sounds a lot like a typical tech-demo...) however the principle used the 'Alexa' interface (Amazon Echo) to improve the customer interaction and access with transport data.

- Tracking Apps

Instead of tracking the vehicles itself, the group looked at what could be achieved by tracking the Apps themselves - producing data on how people are actually behaving and how this can be linked to other external issues, such as areas of deprivation etc.

The aim of #TravelHack2 was to promote innovation and collaboration, producing tangible outputs which could positively impact customers, and their experiences of public transportation. Looking at that list, it shows just how much can be achieved in a short amount of time when we work together.