The Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) emphasises the unique role transport will play in transforming London’s future. Transport for London (TfL) is focussed on making intelligent, well considered evidence-based investment and/or policy decisions that delivers the MTS.
Supporting these decisions are TfL’s suite of Strategic Transport Models which forecast future demand for the transport network and the impacts of potential interventions. Jacobs, in collaboration with our sub-consultants including O2 and AECOM, were appointed by TfL to deliver Project EDMOND (Estimating Demand using Mobile Network Data). Project EDMOND harnesses the power of big data and big data analysis, and to our knowledge, is the first time such a large-scale big data project has been undertaken in a complex global city such as London.
The project updated TfL’s models by fusing anonymised mobile network data with a diverse range of complementary datasets to achieve a step change in the quality of demand data. This change represents a substantially more reliable pattern of movements and provides a less intrusive and disruptive data collection approach than offered by traditional methods, such as roadside interviews. 250 billion anonymised and aggregated events from mobile phone data collected over a three-month period was analysed providing details of approximately 30 million journeys per day.
This data provides a previously unattainable insight into journeys on London’s transport network than has ever been available from traditional survey methods.
The industry advancing approach has provided TfL with:
- A robust dataset with a large sample of users based upon observed population movements, filtered through a robust processing algorithm that TfL decision-makers can be confident is reliable and consistent;
- Up-to-date travel demand information; meaning TfL’s transport models continue to be developed based upon current travel patterns/behaviours.
Through the innovative use of big data, Project EDMOND will facilitate the optimisation of transport investment across the city; improving urban mobility.