Public Transportation

Integrating London's public transportation options

Many cities today are striving to create dense, well-connected public transportation networks that reduce auto-dependence, mitigate congestion, and provide a variety of travel alternatives. Unfortunately, the complexity of large transit systems can be daunting even for native residents, especially when users need to transfer from one type of transportation to another. Juggling transit schedules, maps, and route listings just to get from Point A to B can make public transportation an unattractive option for some. Enter the smartphone users, who might say, “Well, isn’t there an app for that?” And they’re right – mobile apps for public transit systems abound. Having access to real-time service information, station locator tools, and interactive maps can make public transit a much more viable option for many. However, in most cities these apps only provide information on a single mode of transportation. If you need to transfer from a bus to a subway line, for instance, you would have to toggle between two apps for schedules and travel times. Taking bike share? Add a third app. And so on.

Mobile apps are designed to make our lives easier and save time, but few have been able to tackle the complexities of urban public transportation networks in a way that helps to connect users to the multitude of travel options that cities have to offer. The Travel London mobile app from Urban Times aims to do just that. It provides real-time information on bus routes, tube lines, and bike share stations throughout the city, allowing users to easily compare and combine different travel options.

While it’s of course great for residents, an all-in-one transportation app is especially useful for visitors who are trying to navigate an unfamiliar city. Being able to easily find all of the travel information you need in a single place makes a city instantly more accessible and tourist-friendly. And with the summer Olympic Games fast approaching, Travel London is doing its part to make the city an open and inviting place.

~ Allison Bullock

Eight Global Cities Launch Technology Award to Help 40 Million Citizens

Eight global cities from Europe, Asia, Africa and North America join us in a challenge to find innovative solutions to major societal problems by opening competition among international solution-, technology- and service providers. The eight winners of the Living Labs Global Showcase Award will be invited to pilot their solutions in these cities, proving the effectiveness of new solutions and offering a first step for innovative providers to enter new markets.

The participating cities, representing 40 million citizens from Europe, Africa, North America and Asia call for solutions that can solve some of their most pressing challenges:

  • Automation of Urban Services
  • Intelligent Urban Lighting Solutions for Social Interaction & Orientation
  • Venture finance for millions of African entrepreneurs
  • Sustainable Initiative on Intellectual Property Protection
  • Creating the Next Generation of Government
  • Solutions for digitally enabled accessible ecoCities
  • Intelligent Transport Solutions
  • Smart solutions for 10,000 Smart Houses, 16 Green Communities, 1 Eco-City

Oracle Corporation and Asia’s Farglory have been named as corporate partners for the 2011 Living Labs Global Award. Submissions follow the format of the Living Labs Global Showcase and can be submitted for free until the 28th of February 2011. A shortlist of the top 40 Showcases will be presented by the international juries on March 21st 2011. Winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony on May 12th 2011 at the Stockholm Summit on Service Innovation in Cities.

Behind each Category lies the commitment of a city to pilot the winning showcase, with full institutional support to evaluate the impact the solution can have on reaching the community’s objectives.