ODI Leeds


About Open Transport North

Open Transport North was founded by the Open Innovations team as a solely transport-focused venture with reach across the North of England. We aim to deliver open innovation with data to improve the transport network.

The transport industry is undergoing significant digital ‘disruption’. Thanks, in part, to high profile success stories (e.g. TfL) the transport industry is beginning to see the potential opportunities of open data. In addition, regulation such as the Bus Services Act 2017 is putting open data into the consciousness of organisations who previously considered it irrelevant to them. A transport-industry-focused proposition was a logical evolution for Open Innovations, and a response to industry demand. It propels our scope out of the City of Leeds and enhances our ability to innovate at scale across the North of England.

We’ve taken all the great things our community know and love about Open Innovations, and focused it all on transport. Which means that we’ll be putting more effort and resources into building the community of those with a stake in transport in the North of England and beyond.

More people, more events, more projects, more value.

About Transport for the North

Transport for the North (TfN) is the UK's first sub-national transport body. It is tasked with making the case for transport infrastructure investment across the North of England.

As part of its 30-year Strategic Transport Plan, TfN currently has a range of projects in development and delivery.

  • Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • Rail Franchising investment
  • Strategic Development corridors
  • Freight & Logistics
  • Major Roads
  • International Connectivity
  • Integrated & Smart Travel

About our partnership

TfN's programmes require it to build and sustain relationships with the open data community, including open data users and providers. Our strategic partnership means we can create a better collective offer, as we seek to make more open data available to third parties and support open data users to innovate with that data.

'Customer information, collaboration and innovation'

Open Transport North is currently working in partnership with TfN as part of 'Phase 2' of the Integrated and Smart Travel (IST) programme. Our aim is to transform the data currently available to public transport passengers.

We will extend the same open source data and disruption information that rail passengers currently enjoy to bus passengers across single and multi-mode journeys.

It is the information enhancement the industry has been waiting for - bringing together best practice and innovation from across the sector and delivering integrated travel solutions.

What we do

We exist to help individuals and organisations solve the following problems:

  1. Open Data

    Understanding how you can use open data and what it means to you and your future

  2. Intelligent mobility & the future of transport

    Understanding the future of the transport network and what it means for you

  3. Open innovation

    Innovation programmes, developer events, hackathons, and much more

How we do it

  1. Transport community

    We're building the UK's largest transport community platform. We want to connect thinkers with doers, connect policy-makers with someone, organisations with their customers. We want to encourage more collaboration and more organisations to be more open.

    We don't want to control all interactions. We think the network is more effective when it is engaged and works collaboratively.

    We will:

    • Run special events and promotions,
    • Host expert presentations (including the ODI Lunchtime Lecture)
    • Regular blog posts including guest posts
    • Showcasing transport successes / pioneers and news in open data across Transport
    • Run the UK's first Transport data and innovation Podcast - All Aboard.
  2. Travelhack

    Travelhack is our branded innovation pathway and hackathon event programme. We help our clients accelerate their innovation programme by providing a platform for engagement with the transport community.

    We arrange and run open engagement events for you to rapidly develop solutions with and for your key stakeholders.

    We can fit our Travelhack process around your specific business and challenges.

    From our experience, Travelhack needs three things to work effectively:

    1. Clearly defined problem / challenge - can be customer problems or organisational ones.
    2. Data - it doesn't matter (much) whether its real data or dummy data, but having data helps creatives and developers build real solutions to the defined problems.
    3. Engaged community - From our experience, the more diverse the better. We want the diversity of thought. When you attend one of our events, bring your energy, commitment to do and your unique skills; leave your job titles and politics at the door.

    Our Travelhack events:

    • Accelerate the innovation process
    • Focus on doing not talking
    • Disrupt 'Stakeholder Management' - typical stakeholder management involves lots of meetings and interviews, lots of admin, and plenty of misinterpretation. Our events get groups together in a safe, diverse and respectful environment to collaborate.

    Our previous events have included Highways Hack, Travelhack 1, and Travelhack 2.

    If you're interested, get in touch!

  3. Data projects

    We help clients develop and deliver their innovation and open data strategies. Our data consultants provide expertise in open data and innovation to help you to shape and deliver with your existing projects.

    We typically deliver innovative strategy projects on a part-time or full-time basis. We have experience working on our own as well as partnering with other consultancies.

    In all of our projects we will bring the best of our community to help to solve the problems too.

    Some examples of our data projects:

  4. Data Products

    We've developed a range of data products at proof-of-concept stage. These existing products can be scaled to fit your strategy and available data.