The Transport Direct Portal provides journey planning and other travel and transport information as an Internet Website and through other channels such as a Mobile phone, Personal digital assistant and Interactive television. The Transport Direct Portal services are free to users and are funded by the UK Department for Transport, the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Government. It is managed by the Transport Direct division within the UK Department for Transport and is operated by a consortium led by Atos Origin. It relies on data and services provided by over 200 other public-sector and private-sector organisations.
Connecting People to Places. The goal of the Transport Direct Portal is to enable travellers to make intelligent transport choices, whether by car or by Public transport using any combination of appropriate modes (train, bus, taxi, ferry, metro, cycling and walking).
A comparison of different journey types, both in terms of estimated cost and time, is also possible. A notable feature of the Transport Direct Portal is the integration of the many timetables of different local Public transport operators into a unified national journey planner.
The Transport Direct Portal claims to be the only Internet Website that offers journey planning information for door-to-door travel by both Public transport and car for journeys around Great Britain. Its aim is to provide users with comprehensive, easy-to-use travel information to help them plan their journeys effectively and efficiently.
The Transport Direct Portal was formally launched by the UK Secretary of State for Transport on 31 December 2004, following a two-year period of development and testing. Initially, there were some issues with the underlying data that were picked up by the national media (for example, the BBC). These initial issues were resolved, but improving data quality remains an ongoing activity as transport information constantly changes. During 2005, new service delivery channels (Mobile phone, Personal digital assistant and Interactive television) were introduced. New services, such as finding cheaper rail fares and the day trip planner, have been introduced over recent times as well as richer datasets (car parks and other points of interest). From the outset, usability and accessibility was an intrinsic part of the Transport Direct Portal Website design. The Website was further enhanced in 2006 to accommodate the wider range of services and provide easier access from the home page to the core door-to-door and live travel news services.
- Door-to-door journey planner – providing integrated journey plans for using any modes between any two points in Great Britain;
- Live travel and traffic news – travel and traffic incidents – both planned and unplanned – as well as real-time train running information;
- Find a car route – to your destination or to the park and ride service for your destination taking into account historic congestion information in order to provide more realistic journey times and routes for the time and day of the requested journey;
- Find a train – rail-only all-day journey plans, including the ability to search for the train journeys which may have cheaper fares;
- Find a flight – air-only internal flights in Great Britain, with links to the operator to price your journey;
- Find a coach – plan a journey by coach and express bus;
- Find a bus – plan a journey by local bus;
- Compare city-to-city - compare journeys between major UK cities and transport interchanges by air, rail and coach “trunk” modes;
- Find a Place – find places in Great Britain and display them on a map;
- Find nearest car parks – find the car parks near your required destination, select one, and then plan your journey to it;
- Find nearest stations and airports – find the most sensible station or airport from which to start or end your journey.
The Transport Direct Portal integrates data from a very wide variety of information sources covering different types of data relevant for travel, including stops, timetables, maps and real-time data. It has been instrumental in the development of standards for the exchange of transport information in the UK. The relevant standards used in the Transport Direct Portal include:
- Stops: National Public Transport Access Node (NaPTAN)
- Localities: National Public Transport Gazetteer (NPTG);
- Timetables: TransXChange, AtcoCIF and Transmodel;
- Journey planning: JourneyWeb;
- Real-time information: Real-time Train Information (RTTI) and Real Time Information Group XML (RTIGxml);
- Cycle path data: CycleNetXChange.
- Transport Direct web site
- Atos Origin Transport Division
- DfT Site on Transport Direct
- Cycling England on the Journey Planner