What do you do? Why do you do it?
Public transportation is a great thing, but stuck within the status quo. Help me making public transport more user-friendly, machine-readable and accessible.
The closed systems it currently is being run with do not play well with our connected, fast-paced digital world. Proper APIs and open data are the basis for useful apps and accessible services. Public transportation will only have its full positive impact on social mobility, the environment and the city once it is as user-friendly as private means of transport, such as cars and taxis.
I got in touch with the Berlin public transport APIs by accident and I went down the rabbit hole, exploring what needs to be done in order to make using public transport services in Berlin, Germany and Europe more convenient. Fast forward four years, this has become my daily endeavour:
- I run multiple APIs that provide public transport data to apps and services. I want to maintain and enhance them further, e.g. by combining data from multiple sources.
- Because the IT behind public transport networks is mostly monopolised throughout Europe, many of my libraries can also be used to access other systems. Expanding their coverage is something that requires work.
- With friends, I created the Friendly Public Transport Format, which is an attempt (yet another) to create a truly user-friendly and un-overengineered format for public transport data. I want to create tooling to convert from and to other common formats like GTFS.
- All of my code is open source and I try to document all the knowledge I acquire. If I stopped working on this, others would be able to continue.
Why do you need money for this?
Connecting public transport networks, for the benefit of everyone, is something that almost no company considers necessary. Right now, I'm in the priveleged position of being able to live off what I have earned at my previous job at Deutsche Bahn. Financial support will allow me to keep working on what I think is needed for passenger-friendly, accessible public transport services.
Cheers! 🚌 💻 ✨