The provision of open data by Transport for London (TfL) on factors such as timetables, service status and disruption information is boosting London’s economy by £130m a year.
Research conducted by Deloitte revealed that the free and real-time data has been benefiting customers, road users, London and TfL.
The open data can be accessed by more than 13,000 developers through a free unified API, and it helps improve journeys, saves time for the people, supports innovation and creates jobs.
The TfL data allows customers to plan journeys more accurately using apps with real-time information, resulting in a savings between £70m and £90m per year.
An additional £20m per year can be saved as customers can use TfL services more regularly and access other services to plan journeys.
Free and up-to-date access to the data has been helping third-party developers of apps and software to generate between £12 million and £15 million a year for London’s economy, apart from creating 230 jobs in the supply chain, the study revealed.
TfL receives back substantial amount of data it does not collect, including crowdsourced traffic data, which helps TfL to improve its operations in the capital.
Currently, over 80 data feeds are available for developers and there is a possibility for TfL to release more open data, the study said.
TfL has been making open data freely available for almost 10 years. It has worked with companies such as Waze, Twitter, Google, Apple, Bus Checker, Citymapper, Bus Times and Mapway to deliver new products. More than 600 apps are based on the open data feeds, used by 42% of Londoners.
London’s chief digital officer Theo Blackwell said: “This research shows the full power of open data and how it can be embraced to improve our city to meet the needs of Londoners. The Mayor and I will set out a vision to put all forms of technological innovation at the heart of making our capital a better place to live, work and visit.”
Open Data Institute chief executive officer Jeni Tennison said that the TfL’s approach could be replicated to repeat the benefits elsewhere.
“It’s been estimated that by using open data effectively, 629 million hours of unnecessary waiting time could be saved on the EU’s roads and energy consumption could be reduced by 16%,” Tennison said.