AWS Public Sector Blog

Join the TfL Hackathon to Help Manage the Capacity of London’s Transport Network

A guest post by Rikesh Shah, Lead Digital Relationship Manager, Transport for London (TfL) Online

There are 30 million journeys made in London every day. On September 23, Transport for London (TfL) in partnership with Amazon Web Services and Geovation are hosting a hackathon in London to seek ways to make these journeys more efficient by maximising capacity on the public transport network, maximising capacity on the roads network, and improving air quality. These open data sets are fueling entrepreneurship, accelerating scientific discovery, and enabling Londoners and visitors to travel more easily across the capital.

This hackathon provides the opportunity to win prizes, including six months’ worth of support (office space, business mentoring, and access to technical and subject matter experts). So, whether you’re a start-up or a developer, if you are in a position to develop a product that addresses the challenges outlined below, you should join us at the launch event. All entries will be judged by a panel in a closed environment to protect your idea.

There are over 500 apps powered by TfL data used by millions of people every day – we would like to see more. We want your solutions to help manage the capacity of London’s transport network.

Through this transport-focused hackathon, TfL, Geovation, and AWS want to work with the start-up community, app developers, UX and design specialists, and anyone with a passion for data in order to build new applications and unlock new insights from the data.

  • Maximising capacity on the public transport network: TfL is committed to improving customer journeys and increasing the capacity of services to cope with increasing passenger numbers. Customers have told TfL they would like more information to help them avoid the busiest times and places. This might be by taking a different route, making a small change to travel time, or even travelling in a different way. You could help offer a quicker and more comfortable journey.
  • Maximising capacity on the roads network: London’s rapid population growth, increasing economic activity, and rising traffic volumes is posing a set of challenges for the road network. By 2018, we expect to see around 1.25 million more trips each day on the roads. Therefore, to maintain road network performance, we need to increase the effective capacity of the roads, and move from not just dynamically managing London’s streets in real time, but to making the jump towards predictively managing them. Help us to optimise the use of road space capacity and ensure we can recover capacity quickly when incidents occur. Topics we would like the hackathon to focus on are: understanding the capacity of the road network in real time; detecting incidents and their impact on network capacity in real time; and visualising the state of the road network and predicting how it will look into the near future.
  • Air quality: For TfL, our role is more than simply getting people from A to B quickly. We also want to make London cleaner and greener and contribute to a better quality of life for Londoners, now and in the future. Air quality is the biggest environmental challenge to face London. We want to know when and how to best provide customers with information that can influence behavioural change around being ‘greener.’

Join us at the hackathon and get access to AWS solutions architects, TfL staff, and Geovation technical experts to help you take your idea forward.

Mark your calendar with the details below:

  • Venue: Amazon’s offices – 60 Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FD, London and remote access
  • When: Hack for a week: September 23 – September 30, 2016. There will be two launch sessions: 23rd September, 12pm and 5:30pm, so join whichever one works for you.
  • What you’ll need: You will need to bring a laptop and you will need an AWS account. AWS credits and an API will be provided to access the data.

How it works

  • The hackathon will launch on 23 September to share the challenges
  • Surgeries with subject matter experts will be hosted from September 26-29 at the AWS and Geovation offices.
  • Your entry will be judged on September 30 at the AWS office or you can attend remotely.

Already have some ideas? Click here to register and add the event to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

Learn more about the available Transport for London open datasets here.


AWS Public Sector Blog Team

AWS Public Sector Blog Team

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the AWS Public Sector blog team writes for the government, education, and nonprofit sector around the globe. Learn more about AWS for the public sector by visiting our website (, or following us on Twitter (@AWS_gov, @AWS_edu, and @AWS_Nonprofits).