Transport for London’s latest operational performance report was published earlier this week and it reminded me that I’d forgotten to publicly acknowledge the agency’s welcome progress in making the data it publishes easier to understand.
Building both on its 2015 transparency strategy and commitments made by Sadiq Khan and transport deputy Val Shawcross, TfL has been steadily moving away from a very wordy way of presenting data:
in its various performance reports and updates to a new graphic-rich approach:
which makes it quicker and easier to understand the key points and to make comparisons with past performance so that Londoners, Assembly Members and journalists can more easily scrutinise how the transport network is performing.
The inaccessibility of TfL reports and data has been remarked on many times over the years, including by Val when she was an AM, and it’s good to see the agency has taken action to address the gripes and concerns.
The 2015 transparency strategy was published after a prolonged period of nagging by AMs, campaign groups and some particularly loud journalists (ahem!) but what was instructive about the build up to its publication was the discovery that everyone wanted much the same thing – as much information to be placed in the public domain at regular intervals without fare and taxpayers funding endless FOI requests and for data released to be useable and meaningful.
And the good news is that TfL hasn’t finished with opening itself up to greater scrutiny – this year it will start work on updating its transparency strategy, including holding “another public consultation to invite views on what more we could do to make information available and accessible”.
Early indications are this will take place in the summer so keep an eye out for the official announcement and make sure to take part.