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TFL Counts On Developers To Help Ease Olympic Travel Chaos

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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Transport ‘hotspot’ data released to developers to help travelling public ‘Get Ahead of the Games’

Transport For London (TfL) has released data on expected travel issues in hopes that application developers will use it to help the public navigate during the London 2012 Olympics.

The free-to-use information about the Tube, London Overground and DLR is now available in the Developer Area on the TfL website.

Preparation is everything

The website will provide times when stations will be busier than usual for the duration of the biggest sporting event in the world. It will also map the locations of the “hotspot” areas.

It is expected to enable those in affected areas to plan ahead so that they can reduce, reroute, retime or remode their journeys to avoid being stuck for hours in the transport system.

“We expect around an additional three million journeys on the capital’s transport network at Games-time, which is why it is vital that people are able to plan ahead and avoid transport ‘hotspots’,” said Mark Evers, Director of Games Transport at TfL.

“TfL’s open data policy means that our regular live travel information feeds are already available online, leading to the development of some fantastic apps to help Londoners move around.” This huge number of existing travel apps on Android and iOS digital markets has inspired the decision to offer not just factual, but even predicted data.

Other information provided in the Developers Area includes Barclays Cycle Hire availability, London Underground passenger counts and live traffic camera images. All of it can be accessed free of charge.

Around £6.5 billion has already been invested in upgrading and extending transport links to increase capacity and improve services across London and the UK. Yet there are fears that even after this much investment, London will be unprepared for the Olympics.

As an alternative to traveling, many commercial organisations and even UK civil service will introduce “working from home” policies for the duration of the Games.