Open Transport now Open for Business


The First Open Standard for Transport Account Interoperability

Friday 3rd January 2020 sees The Open Transport Initiative launch Version 1 of the Open Transport Application Programming Interface (API) specifications and make them freely available for adoption. This is the first time an Open Standard for transport customer account interoperability has been designed and made available, an initiative that is long overdue.

Considerable effort from various transport and data specialists has gone into creating both the Customer Account and Centralised Operator Look-up Service API specifications. However, all the intellectual property created is being given away to the transportation industry, for the benefit of improving the customer experience.

If there is anyone out there who still doesn’t know what the Open Transport Initiative is?

The initiative was started early 2019 by Ideal Interface, a digital strategy, technology & marketing consultancy based in Glasgow, Scotland and The Open Transport Initiative then became official in October 2019. At the same time the draft Customer Account Specification was released for wider industry review. Since then there has been significant peer review, public workshops and presentations to ensure the standard has covered the interests of all relevant parties as much as possible.

The two specifications created & launched are:

1. Customer-account API
A standard way to facilitate peer-to-peer transport data sharing and account interoperability, allowing the customer to view all their transportation, mobility and associated data in one place. No more searching across various apps and websites to join-up journey, ticket and discount data.

2. Centralised Operator-info API
A centralised look-up for all transport operators and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platforms. This first-of-a-kind transport directory service (similar to the sort code directory within the Financial Services Industry) will provide unique reference information about each mode of transport or mobility organisation, including any publicly available Customer-account API locations.

Although innovative for transport….

Similar vertical markets are also creating Open APIs and developing public technology standards. This is done to reduce duplication of effort, create consistency across different platforms and vendors, but also to foster innovation across a wider developer community. In making this innovation a completely open and free-to-use standard for the transport industry, it is hoped that this will increase its adoption in this important market too.

So what happens next for Open Transport?
It is now in the hands of 1) transport authorities to mandate its use; 2) transport providers to add it to their specifications and requirements 3) transport/mobility providers to include it as part of their offering; as swiftly as possible.
For more information or to download the specification visit: https://opentransport.co.uk

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