Wi-Fi data could improve Tube journeys

Transport for London (TfL) has said that harnessing Wi-Fi data to make more information available to customers can improve London tube journeys.

The four-week pilot, which ran between November and December 2016, studied how depersonalised Wi-Fi connection data could be used to improve how people navigate the London Underground network. The data collected could allow staff to better inform customers of the best way to avoid disruption or unnecessary crowding, enable greater sophistication in proving real-time information to customers, help further prioritise transport investment to improve services and provide a better insight on customer flows.

An example, given on the TfL website, showed that customers travelling between King's Cross St Pancras and Waterloo take at least 18 different routes, with around 40 per cent of customers observed not taking one of the two most popular routes.

Lauren Sager Weinstein, chief data officer at TfL, said: "Technology is transforming our lives, from how we work and enjoy our leisure time to the way we travel. This pilot has revealed useful insights into how people criss-cross London using the Tube, and the potential benefits this depersonalised data could unlock, from providing better customer data to helping address overcrowding, are enormous.

"We are now working closely with key stakeholders to examine our next steps and, as with the pilot, will keep our customers informed while also respecting their privacy and offering a way to opt-out should they wish."

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