Public Carriage API

My company develops software that enables taxi companies to dispatch jobs to a driver’s mobile phone. Taxi companies have to check frequently that their drivers have up-to-date taxi licences. It would help if my dispatch system could do that automatically for them. I can’t find however calls in the Unified API for the Public Carriage Office and taxis. Am I looking in the wrong place?

Thanks, Eugene

Welcome @eugene.c

I’m going to suggest that the problem here is the data you are asking for is about individuals (rather than, say, objects such as vehicles ) so would be covered by GDPR and so not made publicly accessible though a public API.

Thanks Brian. Valid point about the GDPR. I ended up here because the PCO website points developers here, and I can’t find another PCO API. My customers are telling me that Uber has automated access to the PCO data on drivers and that this is putting them at a disadvantage because they have to pay people to do the driver checks manually. I am trying to find out if there is another PCO API that provides driver data. I am sure there is a way with terms and conditions to handle the GDPR concerns. My customers are legally obliged to collect these data from the drivers before they can connect them to passengers and they have to check them against the PCO database periodically - the checking is the activity that they would like to automate.

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Just as quick note, there is part of the API that looks superficially like it might support this - Details - Transport for London - API - but I think this is limited to buses.

I can’t see there not being the possibility of an API connection you could use, but it would need to be a suitable connection, rather than public data.

I’m not quite sure how the Uber system works, but I rather suspect that their driver approval database is baked into their main system. If you want to be an Uber driver “there is an app for that” so the whole system is automated from the start.

I rather suspect that the PCO has come from a historical position where registrations and checks have been done by a manual back-office system and they have provided physical certificates to drivers.

@jamesevans might be able to confirm if they have an fully capable database at the PCO.

I agree that it is somewhat intolerable that you can’t have access to an interface that is clearly in the public safety interest .

Hi @briantist @eugene.c

We do have some PHO data in the API

I think this relates to companies rather than vehicles though.

I’m not sure if there is data available publicly beyond this in a static dataset. I’ll leave that query to my colleagues @jwithers @JakubGasiorowski


There’s nothing available currently to my knowledge, but let me check if there could be anything available in future.

Came here to ask exactly the same thing :slight_smile:

Can’t be a GDPR issue - as the data is right here and publicly accessible

Just have to use and maintain a scraper rather than an API.

Hi all, did anyone find anything on this? I’m hunting for the same API, I’ve heard of other companies using it.

I’ve since emailed TFL, and their support do not understand what I’m asking for.

Hi all,

If anyone else is interested in doing this. I’m looking at using Python with BeautifulSoup/Mechanize to input and screenscrape.

Not as fast as an API query, however will still automate the job.