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iBus data 10 March 2010

Posted by Philip Peake in Transport.
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Further to the Countdown indicator strategy which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about new system at Lewisham Council’s Transport Liaison Committee last night. The man from Transport for London told us they’re planning to charge 12p per text (plus the standard network rate) to find out when the next bus is coming.

It’s worrying because it means that people from groups who don’t use mobiles so much, and/or can’t afford high-rate text services will be excluded. You could quite easily spend a couple of quid in a day if the bus isn’t turning up and you need to keep texting.

There’s always an alternative, and this could well be a case where the talents of the internet’s assorted pro/amateur engineers can help. Making the iBus (Countdown) data available means it could be presented in new and useful ways or even combined with other services.

I’ve raised this with Caroline Pidgeon (the chair of the London Assembly transport committee) and also noticed that there’s a request in for that information via the London Datastore. It’s the suggestion which reads “Public access to live data from IBus to allow tracking of bus locations around london. Data currently held internally by TfL, but not used for anything public facing” so please do click the “I want this” button to demonstrate your support.

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