App developers get onboard tracking Sydney's trains

Transport for NSW is looking for developers to help create apps that will make the best use of real-time tracking data for trains, similar to how it did so with buses last year.

Having successfully run a previous "hot house" to find suitable developers to use its GPS tracking data for Sydney buses , Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is opening up real-time data for trains running in the Sydney suburban area, and organising another hackathon.

The second hot house is again being held in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and will result in the selection of about five teams that will ultimately get early access to real-time train-scheduling information and have their apps promoted by TfNSW. Among the previous hot house winners for the Sydney Buses, TripView, TripGo, and Arrivo Sydney are already being supported by TfNSW through advertising on buses.

The Train App Hot House will see up to 20 teams battle it out to prove themselves to TfNSW that they can make the best use of the data. In addition to a General Transit Feed Specification feed, TfNSW will also make available the daily service updates for the rail network, as well as elevator outages.

The hot house will be held at Tank Stream Labs in Sydney on February 16 and 17, but in order to participate, teams will need to go through an online application process. This process will be evaluated by TfNSW by looking at how each team's proposal addresses customer experience, business viability, technical feasibility, and development capability issues.

Teams that do not make it through the hot house process will still have the option of using the data once it is made available at the hot house's conclusion.

Applications to participate close February 11.