Will my train be busy?
We were enthused this week to see the launch of Zipabout’s new real-time rail map. This map aims to show all live UK rail services, whether they are on time or not and how relatively busy they are. Its launch signals clear progress by the transport industry in endorsing the use of data to support public transport usage post-covid. This is good news for RASIC as it adds validates all the work we have been doing on the RDIS programme.
Although Zipabout is a competitor, since we operate in the same sector, we see any development that to support the travelling customer as a positive step. We’ve had a look and like where they’re heading (all puns intended!)
What are we doing in this area you may ask? The RDIS solution…
Here at RASIC, we’re developing products to help deliver seamless journeys across transport modes. Critical to building digital tools is access to accurate timely rich data on the transport network, its quality of services and status of operation. That’s why we’re building the Rail Demand Information System (RDIS) to provide a real-time demand tool to Network Rail and Train Operating Companies to support their operations as we return to mass travel following the Covid-19 restrictions on mobility.
Our big data solution uses mobile phone location data, processed through our Ambient Compute tool, to create a forecast for all journeys on all National Rail services in Great Britain. Key to providing a robust digital tool is the accuracy of the data that is used to inform the solution, so we’ll continue to refine our Ambient Compute over the next few months so that we can release a world class product to support our partners when they need it.
Where Zipabout use ‘intent to travel’, RDIS uses mobile data to securely measure actual passenger volumes realtime. Our decision to use this method means that we’ll have coverage of all services operated, with all services calculated and populated to allocate movement demand. Additionally, our crowding indicators have been agreed with National Rail operators to reflect the level of demand for a service, relative to the actual space on board the type of train that is running the service, giving both operators and travellers an trustworthy predictor of their on board experience.