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Reading commuters make smart decisions with real time transport info

Reading Borough Council (opens in new tab) has made its real time transport information available to the public (opens in new tab) allowing citizens to make informed decisions on how to travel around time.

The local authority also hopes that making the information freely available will allow third parties to build their own travel apps.

The open data server that makes the data available takes live data feeds from Reading’s traffic systems, including the Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) and the Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) systems.

This includes bus timetables and live expected arrival times for every bus stop in the town, up to date roadworks information, car park information including current and predicted number of spaces and travel updates.

The local authority claims it is one of the first towns in the UK to provide transport data through open data feeds.

“At a time when the travelling public are increasingly accessing information on smartphones an tablets whilst on the move, there is a real appetite out there for live traffic and travel information in particular,” claimed Tony Page, the council’s lead member for strategic environment, planning and transport.

“By opening up access we expect third parties to come forward and develop apps which residents can then use to make informed decisions about journeys they make.

“Reading open data server is one of the first in the UK’s public sector and opens up more opportunities for app developers to bring useful transport apps to market,” Page added.

Over the next couple of months, Reading Council intends to also public live journey times for key routes through the town.

Data Used In Pilot Schemes

During a pilot phase, open transport data was integrated into the websites of two the areas business parks, Green Park (opens in new tab) and Thames Valley Park (opens in new tab).

It was also added to the RDGtvl app, an independently developed app by a recent graduate from Reading University that aims to provide a range of live travel information in the area.

Microsoft (opens in new tab) and Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (opens in new tab) also used the live travel data in the recent Cities Unlocked (opens in new tab) initiative to help people with sight loss better navigate their way around an urban area.