Showcase of projects from the five key strategies developed from the Technology Roadmap
Building on existing in-flight projects, we have identified a series of initiatives that we have concluded are the next steps in implementing each of the five core technology strategies. These are termed ‘no-regrets’ initiatives, as they will deliver value to transport customers, regardless of how technology developments play out.
New touchscreen technology is being trialled at select train stations. Customers can use the screens to plan their trip using real-time data and will be able to view customised journey information that includes information on train departure times and platform numbers.
After a very successful incubation period, the apps L2P, Licence Ready and Roundtrip were officially endorsed by Transport for NSW and added to our open data product showcase. The three apps launched to the public in September 2017 on the Apple app store and Android play store. The three endorsed apps are currently the only ones to be accepted by Roads and Maritime Services and Service NSW as evidence of your 120 hours of driving experience.
Another fantastic achievement for the Open Data Team in 2017 was the release of the bus occupancy dataset in January. The release of this data allowed transport app developers to display bus occupancy to customers so that people can tell how full the next bus is. The data provides one of three statuses in real-time, many seats available, few seats available or standing room only. The release of bus occupancy has been one of our biggest achievements and a long awaited feature by app developers. Learning more about bus occupancy will allow us to analyse congestion and demand for public transport. We’re now working hard to provide occupancy figures for other modes of transport.
With 32 customer-facing websites across different transport agencies, customers trying to find information were often left with a confusing experience.
Our Customer Channel Transformation Program (CCTP) undertook a website integration project, aiming to consolidate most websites into two main customer portals – Transport.nsw.gov.au as the corporate site, and Transportnsw.info as the main site for travelling customers.
Both sites were redesigned to be fully mobile-enabled and based on customer information requirements.
The Transport.nsw.gov.au corporate site incorporated websites for Freight, Transport Planning and the Centre for Maritime Safety. The Transportnsw.info site was fully redeveloped to incorporate Sydney Buses, Sydney Trains and NSW Trainlink. It now includes a trip planner that provides real-time data for all modes of public transport in NSW, allowing customers to monitor disruptions and plan their journey on the go.
The Opal Travel App is used by hundreds of thousands of customers on a daily basis to manage their Opal account and plan their trip. The app underwent a major upgrade based on Future Transport strategies to add new functionality to assist users.
Following the upgrade customers can now:
Plan all public transport services using real-time data, so the fastest trip based on actual network conditions will be recommended
Set an alert that warns them in advance when their stop is approaching
Receive personalised service alerts – by choosing their favourite trip and time of day, users are notified in advance if their journey is disrupted in any way, and can plan another trip to get to their destination.
Exciting new features are planned for the app in 2018 to enable users manager their Opal cards, accounts, balances and top-ups in easier ways.
To serve customers in their channel of choice, lots of new customer service capabilities have been created in the social media space.
In Facebook, a TfNSW chatbot was launched that provides next departure information for all modes. This will soon be extended to include FAQs, trip planning and other useful information.
In Twitter, a personalised disruption notification capability was launched to cater for the more than 125,000 Twitter users who follow Transport for NSW handles. This allows you to select your journey of choice for trains, ferry and light rail and be notified in advance when that journey is disrupted.
“Let me know when I’m coming up to my stop so that I can confidently make the most of my travel time”
Infrequent travellers and tourists can find it challenging to work out which bus stop they need to get off. They often have to walk up the bus and check with the driver which can be distracting or not possible if the bus is full. Stop Alerts allow a customer to plan a trip and then get notified when their stop is coming up. This feature originated in the Intrapreneurs’ Hothouse, and was launched in the Opal Travel App in May 2017.
Stop Alerts provide notifications to a customer’s mobile device when their stop is approaching. It uses GPS location and geo-fences around each stop for their designated trip plan. So if they’re new to Sydney, new to the bus route or just want to spend their travel time messaging friends, Stop Alerts will make sure they don’t miss their stop.
The Digital Train Radio System provides a single compatible communication system across the electrified rail network, enhancing safety by ensuring train drivers, guards, controllers, signallers and supervisors of trackside workers are using the same modern technology.
Automatic Train Protection (ATP) is new technology that will enhance passenger and train crew safety.
ATP monitors train speed against the track speed limit, alerting drivers if they exceed the speed limit.
The technology enabler gathers track information which it communicates to the driver and provides speeding alerts. If the driver exceeds the speed limit by eight kilometres, the system will apply the service brake, and if necessary, the emergency brake to safely bring the train to a halt.
This technology is currently being used in a number of European rail systems.
More than 6,500 balise (transponders) are being placed along the 1455 kilometre electrified train network and advanced equipment is being installed in train driver’s cabins.
The Automatic Train Protection system lays a foundation for European Train Control System Level 2 that will provide more capacity on our network.
Automated Systems is a game changer that will transform the future of our electrified rail network by digitising signalling and control systems.
This will provide a boost to network capacity and provide more efficient, reliable and safer service for our customers.
Key improvements for automatic train operations include:
Automated Systems will provide European Train Control System Level 2 to the electrified network following foundations laid by the Digital Train Radio System and Automatic Train Protection.
Sydney Metro is Australia’s biggest public transport project.
This new standalone railway will deliver 31 metro stations and more than 66 kilometres of new metro rail, revolutionising the way Australia’s biggest city travels.
Metro means a new generation of world-class fast, safe and reliable trains easily connecting customers to where they want to go. When services start in the first half of 2019, customers won’t need timetables – they’ll just turn up and go with a train every four minutes in the peak.
From trip planning at home using smart phone travel apps, to real-time journey information at metro stations and on board trains, technology will keep customers connected at all stages of their journey.
This approach will help customers achieve their daily tasks, whether it’s getting to work, meetings, school or education, sport, a day out or running errands and of course, getting home.
From October, Sydneysiders will be able to book shuttle buses from or near their homes to a local transport hub as part of a state government trial of on demand public transport.
Eight trials of on demand transport services will run in Sydney’s north west, south west, west, eastern suburbs, northern beaches, Sutherland Shire and the Central Coast.
Each trial is unique and will have its own pricing scheme. Pricing for a standard trip will range from $2.60 to $5.60. Customers will be able to book online, by phone or via an app.
Through the Smart Innovation Centre, the NSW Government is working with industry and research partners to trial a highly automated passenger shuttle at Sydney Olympic Park.
In addition to Transport for NSW and RMS there are a number of industry partners. HMI Technologies, Telstra, NRMA Motoring and Services, Sydney Olympic Park Authority and General insurer IAG are collaborating as partners in the two year trial.
The trial is the first precinct-based trial of an automated shuttle in Australia and focuses on observing how automated vehicle technology can improve the mobility of customers and interact with other people within the precinct.
As part of the development of the NSW Smart Shuttle trial, TfNSW’s Smart Innovation Centre held a design thinking workshop in March. The session brought together participants from several areas of the Transport cluster and over 13 industry partners including Sydney Olympic Park, IAG, NRMA, Cisco, Telstra, HMI Technologies, UTS, Transurban, USYD, CSIRO, Cohda Wireless, ARRB and Siemens.
Key issues that were examined on the day included the needs of our customers and the readiness of governance frameworks, infrastructure and technology. Outcomes of the workshop will allow TfNSW to shape the scope of future trial opportunities and the development of value propositions that resonate with our customers.
The Port and Maritime Administration Regulation was introduced in 2012 to focus on improving the Port Botany Truck Turnaround time (TTT). In 2016, a benefit analysis was conducted which highlighted the advantages of improving the consistency of TTTs.
The Port Botany Performance App uses both live and historical data from the Port Botany Operational Performance System (OPS). The App delivers access to data, visualisations and tools that delivers a new era of transparency for all container supply chain stakeholders of the operational performance of the Port Botany road task. The app means freight providers can better plan their freight movements. This will enable the Port to operate with greater efficiency and reduce the impacts of road freight movements on congestion around the port.
The launch of the Transport Data Exchange (TDX) in October 2015 provided developers and the wider open data community with access to transport data. This paved the way and shaped the creation of the Open Data Hub in the months that followed.
The Future Transport Summit 2016 brought together the world’s brightest tech minds to explore how transparency, collaboration and partnerships in using our data will transform how our customers have the best transport experience. It was at the Future Transport Summit where the Open Data Hub was launched. The Open Data Hub is the central location for all Transport for NSW open data and the gateway to our data catalogue, forum and other resources.
The potential of open data is endless. As the Future Transport program continues, we are building on the start we’ve made. This is your opportunity to be involved in shaping the future of transport in NSW.
The trip planner innovation challenge was held in December 2017 to coincide with the release of the Trip Planner API.
The trip planner innovation challenge was launched to challenge the open data community to discover how trip plan APIs could be used to provide real-time information to customers. We asked the developer community to submit concepts and if chosen as a finalist, be able to produce a market-ready product that incorporates the APIs by early 2017, only a few months after the challenge launched.
Three high quality submissions were selected for endorsement by Transport for NSW as a result of the challenge, with the products quickly released for public use. The winners of the challenge were: Navibaby, a mobile app that provides customers with routes that are pram and stroller friendly when travelling with babies; AnyTrip, a mobile responsive web application that you can use to share real-time arrival times and service alerts using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS or Twitter; Splice Trip NSW, a Facebook Messenger chatbot that allows you to quickly and easily access train times in NSW.
Innovation challenges give our open data community the chance to submit an idea to solve a specific problem and usually the opportunity to be endorsed by Transport for NSW.
Applications are currently open for our Boating Companion Innovation Challenge – an opportunity to pitch us on the development of an app to provide recreational boat users with tools and information for a safe and enjoyable maritime journey.
More information about the challenge and details for entry can be found here:
Submissions close Friday, 19th January 2018.
For details of past challenges, and to stay informed when new innovation challenges are announced, keep an eye on our Open Data Hub and our Twitter account (@DataTfNSW).
The game-changing Public Transport Information and Priority System (PTIPS) has been deployed to the NSW bus network to far-reaching benefits.
The real-time data platform feeds all the Transport apps used by our customers including TripView, TripGo and Next There, and provides the location for public transport bus, train, light rail and ferry modes.
PTIPS is world leading for a world class transport system. Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is the first agency globally to provide real-time passenger numbers for the bus travelling public. In an Australian first, TfNSW also provides real-time public transport updates and service alerts to Google Maps.
The tracking/prediction engine takes advantage of emerging technologies to better deliver what customers want through the same cloud technologies used by Twitter, LinkedIn and Yahoo.
Benefits include real-time reporting, self-learning stops and routes, understanding the travel patterns of vehicles and people, and verifying predicted travel times. It allows us to check fleet status, congestion detection and driver’s position in the interests of public safety.
The system is one of the first to use global transport data standards, and also gives priority green traffic lights to late running buses using the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS).
Transport for NSW is creating a Data Science Hotspot as part of our commitment to using data to create intelligent transport networks.
Data science includes skill sets such as data mining, artificial intelligence, and advanced data analysis and visualisation. It presents new opportunities to gain insights from large unstructured datasets, which can then be used to improve the customer experience and the way transport infrastructure supports the community.
The Transport Data Science Hotspot is a collaboration with industry, developers and data scientists to deliver Future Transport. It is also helping grow data science and analytics capabilities of our own people.
A diverse range of proof of concept and data science projects is being developed with external partners, including consultancies, universities and the NSW Data Analytics Centre. These projects involve testing the value of external and internal datasets, and trialling new technologies and capabilities outside of Transport for NSW.
In addition, a Digital Accelerator is being created to help scope and develop data science initiatives and ensure a strong approach to delivering projects using customer-centred design thinking.
Outputs from the Data Science Hotspot will be showcased here as they are developed. The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is one of our key innovation partners and additional information can be found through their UTS Connected Intelligence Centre.