Missing timetables in the feed


#1

Can I enquire as to whom is responsible on maintaining the available timetables on

http://timetables.data.tfl.gov.uk

I’d like to ask why some timetables are omitted for example today’s (28/12) Jubilee TTN 174/18 which should be JN174.zip is missing from the feed.


#2

Hi Ryan
I believe you already had a response from the team who upload these public data files but I will repeat it here in case anyone else finds it useful.

“TTN 174/18 has been uploaded as part of the Xmas/New Year Jubilee file JN135.zip. If you open this file you will find the data you require for JN174.”

The team are reviewing how they present the files to make it easier for users to identify the ones they need so if you have any suggestions, please let us know!

Thanks!


#3

Bus working timetables are made available in a quite different way. Only current versions are available (except for specials like Boxing Day which are loaded in advance) but the name of the line/route and the day to which it refers is obvious in the filename and the link. They are not zipped either. Obviously the online access has been developed at different times and the scale (number and size of files) is quite different but it might be useful for any review to consider whether the bus approach could be adopted.


#4

Thanks for your feedback. Presume you’re referring to the TransXChange files we share not the expired timetables that we recently posted as a zip file?


#5

Mjcarchive thank you for the suggestions. My team can certainly consider changing the naming convention for the zip files, and I will discuss this with them. The naming of the individual files within the zip are generated automatically by our software and changing this may impact compatibility with some systems that use the CUF data within TFL. In addition changing this would incur a cost, but I will speak with my Research and Development Managers about your ideas, as I am very much in favour of improving usability where we can. My team will need to continue zipping the files, due to the large number of files generated. Thanks for the ideas, it is good to have feedback.


#6

Theo/Robert - I was actually thinking of this page

which gives access via a drop down menu to live working timetables, in the form of individual PDFs for each day type (and there can be a lot of them) for each route. I appreciate that this system was developed at a different time to what was done for the tube and that both numbers and sizes of files are quite different but there could be some read across from one to the other.

The Datastore files, which also include tube, DLR and (glory be!) the cable car are in fluent XML so are less accessible to yer average user but that’s fine - their main role is to feed Journey Planner and third party developers can make sense of them, even producing good old fashioned matrix timetables. The expired bus schedules zip file, which contains a mere 57,000 files and unzips to 36GB, also requires some skill to translate into a freestanding form which is comprehensible to humans but it can be done!

I’m not that familiar with the tube files and what is available but I wonder if a home could be provided, perhaps by a third party, for expired tube schedules? It may be minutiae but it seems a shame to “throw away” old electronic documents of some potential interest - if indeed that is what happens. There is a bus equivalent already - the Working Timetable Graveyard - which gives access to everything that has been released in PDF form. It hasn’t got round to the expired schedules in XML form … yet.


#7

Hi. Yes being fortunate enough to work at TfL I took advantage of internal channels. Would be helpful if you published the timetable calendar as a data feed. Showing what timetable is in use on any given day. After its all planned way in advance. Mainly though could you ensure that files are actually part of the zip file of the same name. I would never have found 174/18 if I wasn’t asble to ask on Yammer.
Thank you


#8

The timetable calendar for buses would be very useful too. It is very hard to work out to which days some of the “special” working timetables and I suspect that operators were using quite different day codes to represent the same day of operation over Christmas.

As an aside, the information on New Year’s Eve night bus services (particularly those day services running specially) was better than last year but stiil on the poor side. It is as if it has to be dragged out of a screaming TfL. No point in running it if nobody knows about it.

Well, I’m allowed to have a wish list, aren’t I?


#9

Thanks for sharing, I will take a look.


#10

I should have added one other point. Although the file names as presented on the bus page would not change if a new version is introduced, the Title field on the PDF Information tab of Properties for the file contains the Service Change Number. As this can be accessed programmatically, it provides, ahem, archivists with a tool to make sure that downloaded older files are not overwritten. Not sure if this was very thoughtful or a serendipitous accident but if we are talking longer term retention it is incredibly useful.