Oct 10 2014

Open Delays


1. Presentation

Open Delays aims to disclose a specific kind of transport datas: the delays.

Today, planned timetables of future trips have become generally available in multiple formats. Delays of the last hours of the day are also accessible on the train website, so you know wether your current train is on time. But the accumulated delays data are generally not available : you don't find easily the accumulation of passed exploitation data of a given train line during the last year. We think that the users should have access to delays data, and for sure the company that operates the trains, or a government office, should not be the only ones to access this data.

Our goal with Open Delays is to gather exploitation data, and make it accessible to the users. With Open Delays, you could know for example that the train you are stepping in, had this last year 15mn delay in 30% of its trips : you can prepare for a probable delay on your trip ! Outside of the single traveller needs, such an overview on exploitation data is also a powerful way to make service quality more transparent, and identify precisely where are the structural problems. 
Until recently, companies were very reluctant to realease that data. Now, times and minds have changed, and public transport institutions find quite normal that users can access exploitation data, even if they don't publish them actively. So we are happy to propose this tool, that allows the user to get an enhanced vision on transport exploitation. 
This initiative in publishing delays data is not new, but we try to propose a new approach : we propose a tool that is reusable for any transport system, and insist on the openness of delays data. We expect that Open Delays will be re-used into other solutions and applications, and that this will contribute to improve users' quality of life.

                                   Sample of Database  Sample of Database 

2. Technical aspects and project aim

  • Short program in python that pick-up one hour of data in website, and converts it into a CSV (comma-separated values) format.
  • Our aim is limited to gather the data, and for the moment not to perform additional statistics or queries on it.
  • Periodically, the gathered databases will be shared on our website in different ways (CSV, Excel/ODS sheet or directly viewable).
  • Fields gathered: date, hour, train number, train type, departure station, departure time and arrival station, delays at arrival station.
  • Download here [github] Open Delays program in python. Copyright 2014, WeMove & Samuel Jouan, GNU GPL v3.
  • Download a sample of data gathered with Open Delays : ODS, CSV (lightweight for web usage)
  • See the software development page on Github.

Technical infrastructure :

  • VPS : offer Classic v1 on OVH :
  • CPU 1 Core
  • RAM 1Go
  • Hard disk 10Go Raid 10
  • Bandwidth 100Mbps
  • MySQL server version: 5.5.40-0+wheezy1
  • MySQL Protocol version: 10
  • Webserver Apache/2.2.22 (Debian)
  • MySQL client version: 5.5.40
  • PHP extension: mysqli
  • phpMyAdmin Version information:

Resources used 20 November :

  • %UC : 60% /coreV1, for 4 scripts
  • %RAM : 30% /1Go
  • %STORAGE: 10% /10Go

Scripts :

  • OpenDelays_it : 59 octets /record; 52k records/day = 1,1 Go/year
  • Opendelays_be1 : 50 octets /record; 22 k records/day = 400 Mo/year
  • Opendelays_be2 : 32 octets /record; 17 k records/day = 200 Mo/year
  • OpenDelays_uk : 79 octets /record; 250 k records/day = 7.2 Go/year


3. Milestones

1. Open Delays program written : DONE, 19 October 2014. See github for the code source.

2. Gathering delays data from 1 country : Belgium : DONE, 28 October 2014 . We are however not publishing the data now.

3. Gathering delays from 2 other European countries : United-Kingdom : DONE, 04 November 2014 ; Italy : DONE, 12 November 2014

4. Consolidating the system : RUNNING

4. Applications

Visualization of delays by Italian stations on 21 November 2014 - thanks to Patrick Hausman !

ritardo 20141123


5. Train delays accessibility in Europe

smiley4 smiley3 smiley2

See the table here


6. Open Delays development into phase 1.1

See here






What is We Move, this new organization ? why are they involving ? Who is involving in Europe on the issue of passengers rights ? And why should I involve there as an European citizen and as a IT student? These were questions I’ve asked myself when I got the occasion to start an internship for this organization.

I'm learning these days a few things about public transport, but another important thing: these three worlds – IT, mobility and citizen rights are intertwined together.


My name is Samuel Jouan, I'm 21 years old, and I'm a student in my second year at Exia, IT engineer school of Orléans, France. For passion and for studies, I'm used to work with data, websites, a few programming languages. My goal here for this Autumn 2014 internship is to have an overview about how works an organization, and to give a help in IT issues, as the website or specific projects.

My interest in We Move came from their ability to involve for citizen rights. I'm also a European citizen, I travel accross Europe in many different ways. That's why I felt involved by the issue of public transport, and I choose a civic organisation that cares about transport users.

I see We Move goal simply as this: making travels easier for everyone, because transport systems have been planned and controlled by the users.

I'd like Citizen's Mobility to truly produce advantage for users, and I hope I will be useful in this. I’ve come to the organization at an important time, after 1-2 years activity, still at beginning, but when it starts to have an impact on uses' lifes.

Since I use all kind of public transports in Brussels and Orléans and between these two cities, I noticed some bad facts, as the cost of transport tickets increasing every year, or that too many people still can't use public transport, because the service is poorly planned or not adapted to most common disabilities. Of course, now we move easier, faster and in a better way, but many progresses remain to be done for accessibility of public service.

Although I use daily public transport, I didn't imagine before that there were people, like those here at We Move and their partners, that involve for user's rights. I think it's indeed a good thing that, as users of public transport, we get organized and develop our rights.

I take awareness of all the work that still remains to be done. For what concerns the IT guy that I am, I like that We Move wants to use open data for the users, because it should be our right to access data, and I like that they want people to know their rights, and also fight for gender respect and many other similar issues.