TfL eyes digital innovation as funding salvation (Infrastructure Intel)
TfL commissioner Mike Brown has highlighted how digital innovation is the “salvation” for the capital’s transport network and has urged those working in the industry to come forward with ideas that will keep the TfL at the forefront of an ever-increasing technological world…
By the end of the decade, the Department for Transport’s resource budget will be slashed by 37% and as part of these cuts TfL’s operational budget of almost £700m a year will be wiped out out before the end of the decade. The network will therefore be forced to fund its services through more technological innovations aimed at saving costs to the general running of services.
Brown said: “Next year we will become the only major European city without a subsidised transport network, therefore our message to potential industry partners is we are up for a discussion as we don’t know all the technology out there so lets try some things out that can give us greater value for money and more benefits for our customers. Only by working closely with the industry can we keep up with the astonishing change in technology and continue to develop the pipeline of people needed with the right skills for the benefit of this great city.”
TfL’s commissioner explained to delegates at the conference about how TfL has transformed, particularly in the last decade with innovations like digital intelligence systems that tell maintenance teams whenever trains are starting to breakdown or if any assets at stations like escalators maybe becoming faulty. The company has also released a mobile ticketing app for Oyster card users in London which allows customers to manage their travel fares and payments and also started using drones for vital track maintenance work which previously was an extremely labour-intensive procedure.