A new report by Deloitte has found that Transport for London’s policy of making real-time data open to app and software developers is boosting the capital’s economy by up to £130m a year.
Since former mayor Boris Johnson encouraged the transport agency to make data, including timetables, service status and disruption information, available, more than 600 apps have been released by external firms and developers.
TfL estimates that 42 per cent of Londoners now use the apps to help travel around London.
The report, which was commissioned by TfL, found the open data policy is saving passengers time by allowing them to plan journeys more accurately, while also boosting firms’ ability to monetise data feeds.
It claims the ‘Gross Value Add’ (analogous to GDP) that these companies contribute to the economy, both directly and across the supply chain and wider economy, is between £12m and £15m per year.
Vernon Everitt, Managing Director of Customers, Communication and Technology at TfL, said “With over 31 million journeys made in London every day, it is vital that people have the right travel information readily available to help them travel around the city.
“This new research from Deloitte backs our strong belief that providing data in an open, transparent and free-to-access way can be massively beneficial for both London and the wider economy.”
Simon Dixon, Global Transportation Leader at Deloitte, commented: “Deloitte works with cities across the UK and globally, and open data has become a priority issue to unlock the potential of the future mobility ecosystem.
“Opening up data enables cities to keep pace with rapid urbanisation and population growth, enable innovation, and transform the urban environment.”
Jeni Tennison, CEO at the Open Data Institute said: “Data is becoming as important as other types of infrastructure, such as roads and electricity, which means building strong data infrastructure is vital to economic growth and wellbeing.
“It’s great to see detailed in today’s report how, by investing in the provision of real-time open data, TfL has been able to save people time, support innovation across the UK, and provide a wider range of services than they could on their own.”