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TfL’s 24-hour tube API retains app compatiblity

TfL extends its open data API to support London’s 24-hour tube service, with TfL saying the API won’t break existing apps

Transport for London (TfL) has extended its open data to support the night time tube service operating on the Central and Victoria lines.

The application programming interfaces (API) contains the planned journey timetables for Night Tube services on the Central and Victoria lines on Friday and Saturday nights. As other tube lines start running Night Tube services, the API will be updated to include these services.

The APIs tie in with launch on 19 August 2016 of a night time tube service.

Phil Young, head of online at TfL, said: “London is a 24-hour city and millions of Londoners use apps powered by our open data to check the tube, find a bus or see how the roads are running.

“By making information about the Night Tube services easy for customers and developers to access, we hope to make it easier for everyone to enjoy all that London has to offer and support the thousands of Londoners who have to travel to or from work during the night.”

According to a TfL blog by lead developer James Rogers, which describes the API, existing apps should not require recoding.

“As the London Underground service transitions into Night Tube, these APIs will seamlessly continue to provide real-time information. In the case of status, tube lines that are not served by Night Tube will report a status of ‘service closed’, along with a corresponding status code,” said Rogers.

TfL recently began rolling out live traffic information on a display at the back of buses. The trial covers a number of buses on route 344, which are being used to display real-time traffic information using digital information boards.

In what TfL claims is a world first, the live traffic feed is being trialled on buses between Clapham Junction and Liverpool Street. TfL said the bus display would provide London’s drivers with a new source of information to help avoid congestion and improve their journeys and the reliability and efficiency of the roads.  

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