Transmodel underpins the key British Public Transport data standards sponsored by the UK Department of Transport and has played an important role and in the evolution and harmonisation of British PT data standards .
These standards are used to collect and integrate different types of data from many different parties into a uniform data set that enables country wide journey planning.
The UK as NPTG areas
The UK’s participation in the PT Standards development is through CEN – through treaties which long predate and are independent of its membership of the EU. The business case for adopting and contributing to common PT standards remains compelling regardless of Brexit.
Gathering data for the UK National Access Points
The NPTG, NaPTAN, and TransXChange data formats (outlined below) are used to assemble data from many different operators for different modes in many different regions. This is aggregated and processed into the systems used to support passenger information enquiries from web, mobile andat-stop applications.
JourneyWeb defines a uniform interface for making different types of passenger Query. The SIRI interface is used to fetch and deliver real time information about stop departures and vehicle movements
Transmodel based Data formats
Three Transmodel based data formats are used to collect and exchange stop and timetable data.
- NPTG, the National Public Transport Gazetteer provides a topographic context for organizing public transport. It identifies all the towns and settlements in the UK relevant for public transport and also allocates responsibilities for managing data for different regions of the country.
- NAPTAN, the National Public Transport Access Node is a UK nationwide system for uniquely identifying all the points of access to public transport in the UK. It is a core component of the UK national transport information infrastructure and allocates every UK station, coach terminus, airport, ferry terminal, bus stop, etc., a unique identifier.
- TransXChange (Transport Exchange) is the UK nationwide standard for exchanging bus schedules and related data. It is used fothe electronic registration of bus routes All UK bus schedules are available in TransXChange format as open data.
Transmodel based APIs
Two Transmodel-based APIs are used to dynamically exchange data to answer passenger queries online and on mobile devices
- SIRI (Server Interface for real time data), a CEN standard used to distribute bus real time data UK-wide to mobile and online delivery channels. The previous UK RTIG standard was one of several European national inputs to the development of SIRI as a CEN standard. Transmodel helped to align and reconcile these different standards.
- JourneyWeb: The UK’s original national journeyplanning system, developed betwee 2002 and 2005 to provide UK-wide journey planning used the JourneyWeb API to ask journey planning queries of regional journey planners. It has in turn been an input to the development of the new Distributed Journey Planning standard developed by CEN TC278 SG4 WG8.
How Transmodel helped with the Development of British Standards
British PT standards have evolved in parallel during the development of Transmodel and provide a good case study of the value of it as a conceptual model for harmonising and improving standards. The three NPTG, NAPTAN and TransXChange formats were originally separate formats with differences in how they described stops and other features. Transmodel gave a systematic basis for converging these into a single national model with shared subschema and a uniform set of entities. At the same time the UK’s experience in implementing the first (600,000) large national stop database provided input into the next phase of Transmodel development, in particular the IFOPT module of NeTEx Part2 which draws on both NPTG and NaPTAN and work done to exchange accessibility data for the 2012 London Olympics. They thus illustrate the way that common standards are helpful for sharing knowledge about effective representations and best practice across Europe.