Hacking Sydney’s congestion @ CongestionHack Part 6 of 7 (Presentation)
Sunday morning and following an intense Saturday of solution sketching and voting, the plan was to prepare a well-structured Presentation. Following a healthy breakfast came time to divide and conquer. Three of the team (Harshitha, Prakash, Louise) focused on the Business side of the presentation and utilised the Lean Canvas framework whilst the remaining two (Yan, Rajesh) focused on the data strategy.
Here are our summaries from each scenario:
Key data sets used:
- Crash data for CongestionHack — Used to find severity and locations of crashes
- Live Traffic Cameras API — Used to find locations of CCTV cameras located around NSW. This was overlaid on the crash data to find gaps in the network.
- Traffic Volume Counts API — Used to find the average PEAK travel time
- Opal tap on/off location data — Used to find amount of pedestrians near pinch points, clearways and high incident areas.
- Journey to Work 2011 — Used to find amount of pedestrians near pinch points, clearways and high incident areas.
- Active Transport Walking — Used to find amount of pedestrians near pinch points, clearways and high incident areas.
- RMS — Clearways, Bus and Transit Lanes — Used to find locations of clearways, bus lanes and transit areas in NSW.
- Timetables Complete GTFS API- Used to find the location of bus stops, train stations and ferry terminals.
- Google Maps API- Used to find social infrastructure (e.g. Schools, community centres, workplaces, etc) near pinch points, clearways and high incident areas.
- Live Traffic Incidents API — Used to find locations of key road incidents in NSW at a point in time. (edited)
- Average AM and PM peak traffic counts along pennant hills road — north parramatta side
“The RMS has a major program titled “easing Sydney’s congestion” where they have identified key pinch points along arterial roads e.g pennant hills road (including north parramatta to M2 & M2 to Wahroonga). The niche our solution is addressing is the delays caused by key incidents such as illegal parking on clearways and car breakdowns. These incidents especially illegal parking on clearway zones, especially areas not covered by the traffic camera infrastructure, mean that the response times to tow the offending vehicle can be relatively lengthy. Our aim with this solution is to equip Pedestrians who walk, work or visit locations along the arterial road pinch points and clearway zones, especially bus and train commuters catching or alighting travel, to be incident reporters. We will have a marketing campaign that promotes our App to all Schools, Workplaces, Community centres and other places of Social gathering to encourage “Congestion watch”. Our App achieves better management of Congestion via two key avenues. first, it reduces response times of the TMC (transport management centre) to remove the blockage, it reduces the time to awareness of TMC of the blockage so that they can better manage the upstream and downstream impact. Second, in the long term because there will be a large number of commuting, walking pedestrians being “congestion reporters” the incidents themselves of such illegal parking will reduce.”
Our team TransTrack is developing a reward-based camera application to help Transport Management Center (TMC), better respond to key road incidents. This means quicker response times to avoid bottlenecks from forming. We do this by rewarding Opal dollars to reporting pedestrians.
Many road incidents which are not captured by the TMC’s network of mounted cameras, are compounding the present traffic congestion situation. TMC relies on different channels
(e.g. social sites, voice calls, radio stations, etc.) to find out about these incidents (e.g. illegal parking on clearway zones, breakdowns, etc.) These incidents when not responded to in a timely and prompt manner, heavily impacts the economy of Sydney.
Team TransTrack had a discussion with different stakeholders from Transport NSW (Marg Prendergast, Dominique Winn, Sally Garman) to understand and address the current problems Transport Management Centre (TMC) face.
Our team is proposing a solution to develop a camera based mobile application, which takes a photo with exact GPS location allowing pedestrians to instantly report key road incidents (e.g. parking in clear way or no stopping zone, minor accident, or breakdowns) to TMC.
How it works (Example)
Mr. Joe is heading for work and is walking to catch a train. He sees a car breakdown in the middle of the road on his way to train station. He takes a photo on his phone using Traveller’s Eye application, and with one click, sends it to Sally Garman’s Team at TMC. Sally’s Team verifies the received photo for relevance.
The TMC team send a notification via the application to all the other application users within 1km radius of the incident.
Mr. Joe receives a thank you message with $100 credit on his registered opal card. Joe is very happy and mentions his experience with his colleagues at the office. They are also keen to install and use the application.
The application rewards the first pedestrian reporter with $100 on their registered opal card and $50 for the 2nd reporter once the incidents are verified as genuine. This application also encourages citizens to increase usage of public transport by redeeming Opal dollars.
We are tapping into an existing customer base (bus and train users), providing them with a simple and fast way to earn Opal dollars and ultimately improve their journey.
We will market via the following avenues:
- Opal’s existing customer marketing channels which includes train stations, bus shelters.
- Businesses who are located along the pinch points of arterial roads.
- Social infrastructure located along the points of arterial roads eg libraries, school, childcare centres.
Pedestrians and public transit commuters will be motivated to act via both the economic incentives of Opal dollar rewards and the reduction of journey times (congestion). In addition, this program contributes to behaviour change via a reduction in illegal clearway parking that leads to improved congestion results.
Competition & Alternatives
Existing camera apps such as Sololocator and GPS Map Camera don’t provide a fast and simple pathway to push location and photo directly to the TMC.
We also reviewed Feedback2go and found it complex in terms of the number of steps required by the user before submission. In addition, it provided no incentives for people to proactively report incidents. We spoke to the Project Delivery Manager of this application and he advised it was more of a complaints capturing tool whose records are stored in a Sales Force database.
- Inclusion of voice activated reporting option.
- User validation so residents can sign up as a “Traveller Eye” e.g. Mother that walks the kids to school every day.
- Reporting to Local Council about street related incidences like garbage dumping, dumped cars and burst water mains.
API consumption by different public and private stakeholders bodies (Revenue NSW, NSW Police, Local Government, Insurance companies, Infrastructure Developers)
Hack Playbook Tip #6 — The power of simplicity, structure and story in 6-points namely: Overview (why is your idea in existence in the first place? What problem is it addressing), Market (what market are we serving and who are our customers), Competition (who else is already doing similar things to address this problem? Who else is serving this space?), Implementation (How will we practically implement this idea), Team (who is in our team and what are their superpowers?) and Ask (What do we ask of the audience, judges and sponsors to progress this idea beyond the presentation?).