Transport for London has announced it is trailing a new business version of its 'Countdown' real time bus information service for public displays, that extends availability of its data that has been available at bus stops for several years, and since October 2011 for free via the web (tfl.gov.uk/buses) as well as an API for use in apps.
The new service will be charged at (a discretional) rate of £250 per year for business for use on publicly displayed screens, such as commonly used in such as hospital waiting rooms or shopping centre foyers, with feeds publish extra data per location, rather than for a specific bus route or bus stop - to make it suitable for general use as service for those without access to mobile internet lookiing to see when their buses for the next half hour will arrive.
TfL said the signs are been trialled in four locations, and is a further example of how it is helping passengers make the most of London's extensive bus service. The signs are currently being trialled at Oaks Park High School in Newbury Park; Loxford School of Science and Technology in Ilford; Redbridge College in Romford; and Gracefield Gardens Health and Social Care Centre in Streatham.
Customer research will be conducted to evaluate how well the signs have been used and to refine the service provided. In the future it is possible that the information could be displayed at a variety of customer focused locations.
"Dead Simple Greatness"
TfL says ongoing digital commitment to supply API data feeds to app developers has also seen a large rise in the number smart phone applications.
The free data feed has been utilised by over 30 smart phone apps, that its research says is used for around 830,000 bus journeys made in London each day.
The company say the Countdown service sees around 1.8 million web hits for bus arrival times using the web or a smart phone and over 40,000 requests are made via SMS every day.
An example of a recently released, and well designed implementation of TfL's travel information feeds id offered by Panic Software's Status Board, iPad only, app.
Status Board features it's own implmentation of the smart phone app Tube Tracker data as a feed for smart display of personalised trave, and other data, which Panic Software in it's Blog entry Status Board Mania! describes as "Dead Simple Greatness" - see below.
Up to 10,00 people a day now using contactless payments on buses
TfL have also reported recently that in the four months since the launch of contactless payments on buses on 13 December 2012, the number of people using their contactless payment card has risen to up to 10,000 people per week.
From 2,061 people making 2,586 journeys paid for on their contactless payment card on the first day in December, up to 10,000 people are now making as many as 16,000 journeys each day.
Contactless payment cards use debit, credit and charge cards that include contactless technology for small value payments. They are now being issued by banks for some Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards.