TFL release a proper data feed for the Barclays Cycle Hire program

... with proper updated data (well, 3-5 mins out of date, vrs up to 20 or so for the current ones).

London Bike App uses this feed now. The current version still works out docks free / bikes free based on the old method, but the latest version (4.0) properly takes broken docks and broken bikes into account.

From the press release posted on borisbikes.co.uk

Realtime cycle information available free of charge from Transport for London

The long-awaited feed allowing web developers to access realtime availability data from Barclays Cycle Hire will be made live at noon today. Available free of charge in the TfL Developers’ Areahttp://www.tfl.gov.uk/developers and the London Data Store data.london.gov.uk this information gives users the capacity to develop enhanced mobile applications (apps) and web applications.

The Barclays Cycle Hire XML feed contains the name, location, co-ordinates and maximum number of docking points for all operational Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations. It also contains the number of available bikes (excluding locked or faulty bikes), and number of available docking points.

The feed comes direct from the Service Provider's information database and is updated in 3 minute intervals. It contains the same data that is used for the BCH online interactive map.

This has been written by developers for developers making use of feedback from the community to create a source of dynamic data. In keeping with Transport for London’s open data policy this feed is being made available to all at the same time to ensure a level playing field among the developer community.

Key elements of the feed are:

· It is free to use
· Contains information about the availability of bikes in individual docking stations, noting where bikes are not in use
· Updated in 3 minute intervals
· All information is scalable and robust
· Supplied with a data dictionary

Transport for London anticipates a major interest in the feed which will allow developers to innovate greater information applications for the public. The public will be able to choose the application which best suits their needs while remaining assured that the information contained within it is robust and reliable. Members of the testing group include Digital Jigsaw, Fiplab, Big Ted ltd, Google, Malcolm Barclay and Adrian Short.

The Barclays Cycle Hire availability feed is available at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/developers .

Notes

· Transport for London’s Developers’ Area http://www.tfl.gov.uk/developers was launched in January 2009 and The London Data Store in January 2010.

· The Area currently contains 18 datasets and six realtime feeds including realtime traffic information. In December 2010, TfL released the Trackernet feed which allows users access to realtime travel information from London Underground. Over 500 developers have registered with us and using TfL data, developers have created over 15 web applications and more than 100 mobile apps.

· All feeds are available free of charge however Transport for London does not endorse individual products. In line with this developers are prohibited from using the Transport for London trademark.
· Barclays Cycle Hire was launched to members in London in July 2010 and to casual users in December 2010. A feed was made available at the time of the July 2010 launch giving developers access to static data including the locations of all docking stations.