Mobile upgrade for Sydney's transport info

Yesterday the NSW department of Transport and Infrastructure put out a call for companies that are able to make Sydney's transport information site, 131500, more mobile.

Yesterday the NSW department of Transport and Infrastructure put out a call for companies that are able to make Sydney's transport information site, 131500, more mobile.

A Sydney train pulling in displaying no service on its screen

Is NSW's transport mobile infrastructure on track? (Cityrail train image by George Grinsted, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The government is in the midst of transferring to a new technology platform to improve its delivery of transport information to passengers.

"A transition onto a new technological platform is now underway, which will improve some of the existing services, mainly in the area of journey planning using current web and phone communication," it wrote in the document, which called its current support of mobile devices "rudimentary".

Enhancements on the cards include a kilojoule calculator, smartphone apps, and improved website design and access to "real-time" data of buses, trains and ferries including service interruptions, delays and locations of transport.

The primary purpose of the request for information released yesterday was to expand on this upgrade further via innovative ideas which could, for example, improve mobile access to public transport information, enable messages and alerts about transport conditions, and integrate third-party applications for events, venues and services.

However, the NSW Transport Authority will only be looking at products that have already been tried and tested with the document stating that "no research and development grants are available".

According to the request for information, mobile phone access accounted for more than 50 per cent of site traffic at certain times of the day.

NSW's rail transport corporation RailCorp has previously put a damper on mobile ingenuity by threatening a Sydney software developer with legal action, claiming his timetable iPhone application Transit Sydney "violated copyright". Premier Nathan Rees announced last year that NSW Transport data was to be made available for developer use.

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