As part of MobilityData Academy’s virtual English Training Day, our very own Mariano Tucat talked about how we at SkedGo use GBFS, and how this affects our platform and therefore our end users.
Mariano works as Software Engineer for SkedGo and is responsible for API architecture and documentation, booking and payment integrations, database and accounts handling, as well as server configuration and maintenance. He is based in Bahía Blanca, Argentina.
This is a summary of his presentation; you can access the complete recording of his talk here.
Who is SkedGo, and what do we do?
SkedGo provides personalised trip planning, corporate mobility and other mobility-as-a-service technology for start-ups, corporations and governments. We also work with partners at different levels, like integration or front end partners.
Our platform consumes data from service providers, either transit agencies or transport service providers. This data is then used in trip planning apps, MaaS apps or enterprise mobility apps, offering multi modal and mixed modal trip planning options to end users.
We provide access to our platform through self serve APIs, and also using open source and premium SDKs, and we also offer white label solutions.
Why do we need standards like GBFS?
The key differentiator of our platform is our routing engine, in particular its advanced multi and mixed modal trip planning capabilities. It provides personalised and contextual trips to the end user. To be able to do that, we need to consume data of different transport options, including public, on demand and shared transport; static and real-time. And to do so at scale, we rely on standards, like GTFS and GBFS.
Our API provides access to our platform, and includes personalised results by different metrics like time, cost, convenience, exercise and environmental impact.
How are GBFS data feeds used?
In general, we use the GBFS feeds for our micro mobility results, like bike sharing, scooter sharing etc. For example, they tell us whether there are bikes available to pick up at a particular bike share station. The feeds we mostly use contain system information, station information, station status and free bike status.
How do GBFS feeds affect the user experience?
The feeds help us know e.g. where pods are available for pick up and drop off of bikes. Users can also access a map which lets them see all stations at a glance (including how many vehicles are available), as well as additional information like public transport stops nearby. In detail view, a station will show its address, available vehicles, empty docks and provider name. For free floating vehicles we show positions and other detailed information about the vehicle, provider name and a deep link to the provider app.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of GBFS?
A standard like GBFS allows us to easily integrate multiple share vehicle providers without much effort. This benefits us as feed consumers as well as the producers, as they have a clear guide on what to include. It is also easily extendable, which is important for APIs. It also allows SkedGo to offer a feature on our platform that enables clients to add their own feeds directly into our platform (“TSP connectors”; currently in beta).
What we think would be great to have in GBFS in addition to what’s currently available is the ability to lock/unlock vehicles.
Sounds great! Can I try your apps?
To try out our showcase app TripGo, you can access it via your browser or download it
You can also find more information about TripGo on our website.
All images shown in this article © SkedGo 2021