FirstGroup and Heathrow – well it’s been a busy few weeks

8 Jun 2015 by Emer Coleman


Today we are very pleased to announce that we have been selected by FirstGroup as its preferred transport data supplier, making sure that customers can access First travel information in as many places as possible. Whether customers want to access via PC, Laptop or Mobile their options for timetables and real time travel, information will be made available with the underpinning technology developed by TransportAPI. We are especially pleased that such a significant player in the transport industry is investing in the strong SME market that has emerged from the government initiative to make public transport data openly available.

Our partnership opens up some great opportunities to integrate our data with other transport feeds and provide customers with better journey planning information

Dave Lynch, CIO, FirstGroup

Over the past couple of years, we’ve steadily brought on board blue chip clients like Transport for LondonThe Future Cities CatapultHeathrow AirportLancaster University who join over 1400 developers and organizations who have signed up to use TransportAPI. So we are delighted to add FirstGroup to our client list as their preferred data supplier powering the data revolution across its digital estate including desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile. It’s a win for FirstGroup customers to be able to easily find their transport requirements but it’s equally a win for FirstGroup. We look forward to working closely with FirstGroup in the coming years to continue to improve customers journeys.

First Bus is one of Britain’s largest bus operators operating around a fifth of all local bus services outside London and have a fleet of some 6,400 buses which carry approximately 1.6 million passengers every single day in a huge number of communities.

The FirstGroup partnership with TransportAPI has been welcomed by open data advocate Sir Nigel Shadbolt responsible for the establishment of the Open Data Institute along with the creator of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners Lee:

“It is fantastic to see companies of the scale and importance of FirstGroup backing young open data companies like Transport API. The Open Data Institute is proud of Transport API a company we helped incubate. Their data is powering an increasing number of great services that enable us all to travel more efficiently and effectively.”

Another huge organization that handles millions of passengers every year has also recognized the value of partnering with us for their transport needs. Heathrow Terminal 5 is the newest of Heathrow’s terminals which was opened in 2008 at a cost of £4 billion, and its five floors are large enough to hold 50 football pitches. It is used exclusively by British Airways and Iberia, and provides a huge range of facilities for travellers, including restaurants, shops, hotels, car hire services, business services, parking and bureaux de change facilities.

Following a successful trial in Beta in 2014 displaying onward public transport journey information for its passengers on large screens in Terminal 5 this service is now fully live. TransportAPI, working with Heathrow’s technology partner Cognizant Technology, have now rolled out the screens on a permanent basis. TransportAPI have also been working with National Express who have made their data available for the first time via TransportAPI.

While we are delighted to have so many larger clients come on board we couldn’t possibly forget our brilliant developer community who continue to sign up at a rate of circa 50 a week and create brilliant apps like Bus Guru:

“We use TransportAPI as our go to source of data for all our bus live times outside of London.”

In 2011 Bus Guru was the UK’s first app to give users both the LIVE (real-time) bus times AND the best routes from TFL’s Journey Planner and Countdown System and they are now in development rolling out national coverage using data supplied by us.