kenzabukuro on Twittter

Transport for London's new responsive website is awesome

I didn't say it's perfect, but it's awesome. Transport for London has rolled out a new responsive website that sets the bar for public transportation operators in other global cities.

TFL already had a solid set of Twitter feeds updating tube and bus status, as well as the ability to check bus services online. But the new system is so much better , faster and easier to use.

As a comparison I went back to look at a couple of my favourite cities and my hometown. Tokyo Metro's website is easy to navigate and looks ok, but it's not responsive and any search requires a page load. If you're a tourist, the English version of the website doesn't offer the same breadth of information as the Japanese site, and it blurs the line between being the Tokyo Metro website and a tourism promotion site.

New York City's MTA site is outdated and not responsive.

Boston's MBTA website looks a little better, but it's still dated and not responsive.

TFL's website, by contrast, offers a RESTful API with decent documentation . It's hard to understate the importance of this; opening up this data and offering an API will create developer jobs in the capital. Check this out:

    /BikePoint?swLat={swLat}&swLon={swLon}&neLat={neLat}&neLon={neLon}

What does that do?

    Gets the bike points that lie within the bounding box defined by the lat/lon of its north-west and south-east corners.

And the information is updated every five minutes.

There's definitely room for improvement, but this is a huge upgrade for TFL and will hopefully be copied by other global cities.