Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


Public Transport Data in KDE Itinerary

Querying realtime journey data and dissecting ticket barcodes

KDE's digital travel assistance app Itinerary consumes public transport data in various ways, from journey queries over realtime disruption information and coach layouts to tickets. In this talk we'll look at what has been implemented for this and what is still missing.

KDE Itinerary supports you on the road by presenting all relevant travel dates and documents in a timeline, with all its content being automatically extracted from flight, train and bus tickets, hotel reservations or event tickets. Unlike with proprietary alternatives, all of this happens on the user's device and under the user's control. Itinerary can then augment this with realtime information about disruptions and suggest public transport options to get from the station to the hotel for example. For connections in complex train stations Itinerary also provides OSM-based indoor maps including the realtime operational status of elevators where available.

In order to support the travel data extraction from tickets, decoding several standard and proprietary ticket barcode formats has been implemented. Besides UIC 918.3 and ERA SSB/TLB this as of recently also includes the rather complex new European international ticket standard "Flexible Content Barcode" (FCB). For a few proprietary barcodes we are still struggling with reverse engineering and/or finding the corresponding documentation though.

For querying public transport journeys and disruption information several open and proprietary backends are supported, such as Navitia, OpenTripPlanner, OpenJourneyPlanner/TRIAS, Hafas and EFA. The focus here is on unified access to common information rather than to support every possible detail and journey customization option. One still missing but particularly difficult to model piece of information however are prices and tariffs.

With over 80 currently supported online services, automating discovering and managing information about those also becomes relevant. We will look at the Transport API Repository project as well as Itinerary's approach of adding line and product metadata from OSM and Wikidata for this.

Realtime data of the operational status of elevators and escalators or the train coach layout at a given platform are also supported, but unfortunately not as widely available. This tends to be particularly relevant information for users with mobility restrictions though.


Photo of Volker Krause Volker Krause