Open Data

RISUM Project: Real-time information for seamless urban mobility


The experiment by RISUM provides real-time public transport information about Santander under the GTFS standard. It aims to make public transport data more readily available for developers to use, so they build applications that simplify mobility for users.

The Team

Key members are Emilio Gómez Fernández (Experimentation team leader and developer) and Jesús Gómez Fernández (Developer).

“The intermodality is one of the key elements in the coordination of various modes of transport. The waiting and transfer time are the main elements discouraging people from using public transport instead of a car. Seamless mobility enables users to be in control of their own journey, using various stages and modes of transport.”


Static data collection: We obtained most accurate data about Santander’s streets, bus routes, timetables and locations of bus stops.

Real-time data collection: Capturing the real-time data from the location of buses and using it to update timetables.    
GTFS feed: That data was then placed through GTFS, which allowed public transport agencies to publish their data.

Publishing the data on server/functional demo: We created a GTFS data server that provides static and real time information on the state of public bus services in Santander.

Experiment outcome

Service providing real-time public transport information under the GTFS standard.
The image shows the diagnosis of the GTFS feed created for a Santander bus line with a Marey graph that shows all the trips with the same pattern as the selected trip.

Functional demo
The RISUM team developed a functional demo, visualising the information of GTFS feeds generated in the experiment through the open source mobile application, OpenTripPlanner. OpenTripPlanner uses the data served by the RISUM experiment for the city of Santander.

Lessons learned

    1. Not all open data is useful data. Copying tables from PDF files is not fun.
      Initially, the development of our project was intended to focus mainly on the technological and co-creation parts of the new service. We later realised that most of the time vanished into decrypting and processing open data stored in unstructured or unstandardised data formats. This forced us to develop ad-hoc tools designed to convert this data in standardised formats understandable by the software used.
    2. Be realistic and do not reinvent the wheel.
      It is essential to keep in mind during the design phase of such a project not to aim above what we can achieve. We are a small team with limited resources and time, so after discarding various ideas that were clearly unrealistic for 6 months of experimentation, we decided to focus on the field where we already had experience. We also researched and reused existing technology: we used existing open source solutions, which gave us a much greater chance of managing the experiment in the given time.
    3. Opinion bias must be weighed in co-creation activities.
      It is difficult to assess the bias in co-creation activities. The people who participated represented only a few segments of population (e.g. seniors, students). Their interests may not be the same as those of other user segments which we needed to take in consideration.
    4. The role of citizens in the cities of the future is undergoing a paradigm shift.
      Finally, to reflect, in the cities of the future, the role of citizens is changing from consumer to producer of goods and services. We believe that projects like OrganiCity and Open Government Data initiatives can enable citizens to develop innovative solutions for their cities.

RISUM Project Website

What happened & what's next?

  • Our intention is to continue with the maintenance of the GTFS service.
  • Currently this platform has made a profound change in the architecture of its cloud computing service, which requires a significant migration work. The service will restart once this migration is complete.
  • Finally, the experimentation phase has been completed, but the team of experimenters intends to add the data provided by RISUM to other transit apps like One Bus Away.
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