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Judging Criteria

Evaluation Criterion



Customer Experience

Challenge statement is addressed.


Must improve customer outcomes or improve experience for customers.

Does the solution address the problem statements?


Is the customer value proposition clear?


Enhances the experience of customers

Market Feasibility

How will the product serve its target users?

Does the solution have an existing user base?


Does it provide value to a market which is currently under served?


How will you reach the target market?

Commercial Sustainability 

An assessment will be made about whether the solution is likely to be commercially sustainable in the long term.

Beyond seed funding (if required), how will the solution be sustainable in the future?


Is there a commercial model that has been clearly defined and is operationally sound?


The team has previous entrepreneurial experience with the ability to execute the solution and maintain the solution for the long term.

Technical Feasibility

Does the team have the skills and experience required to effectively develop and launch the solution?

How can the team demonstrate their ability to develop and implement the solution? 

Value for Money

Does the solution provide NSW Government value for money?

How will the solution use the seed funding (if required)?


How will the solution demonstrate the value it provides for the NSW Government?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is being offered as part of the challenge? 
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is offering the public an opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders and industry partners to provide customer solutions for NSW. 

Benefits for successful Innovation Challenge teams includes options for seed funding, product endorsement from TfNSW, access to subject matter experts, data, APIs and significant commercial opportunities that stem from solving a real transport problem. 

Further details about the benefits of the Innovation Challenge will be provided at the Information Session.

How will the Innovation Challenge work?
A virtual information session was held on Wednesday 12 May 2021 has been published on the Innovation Challenge home page. This session is designed for interested parties to ask questions and get information before applications are due.

Applications open on Wednesday 12 May 2021 and close on Sunday 23 May at 11.59pm.

Potential applicants will have the opportunity to meet key subject matter experts at the information session to help develop their submission. Once applications close, they are assessed and ranked by a screening panel. 

Teams will be selected to progress to the next stage of the challenge where they will be invited to pitch their ideas to the judging panel as part of the Pitch Day. Successful teams will be invited to incubation. 

Incubated teams may receive funding and access to subject matter experts. Teams who successfully complete the incubation stage will then be assessed for endorsement.

Who can participate in the Innovation Challenge?
We welcome all submissions that meet the challenge statement. It is expected that teams are incorporated and are able to engage in legal and/or commercial terms with Transport for NSW.

Employees and the immediate families of employees of the Transport for NSW cluster - including Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains - are not eligible to enter the innovation challenge competition.

When does the product have to be launched?
The incubation period will be up to 12 weeks. The product will need to be delivered at incubation conclusion. 

When do applications open?
Applications for the Active Transport Bike Riding Innovation Challenge open on Wednesday 12 May 2021.

When do applications close?
Applications close on Sunday 23 May at 11:59pm AEST.

I have questions about the challenge. Who can I contact to ask more questions?
You can ask on the Open Data Forum - there is a dedicated thread for the Active Transport Bike Riding Innovation Challenge, or email us at

Where do I apply? 
Applications will be open on the official Innovation Challenge website from Wednesday 12 May 2021. 

What are the primary barriers to bike riding?
The primary barriers to bike riding fall into the following 5 categories. 

Fears concerning personal safety

  • Sydney’s roads are designed for cars, with cyclists framed as guests on the roads.

  • There are gaps in the current bike lane network that requires bike riders to interact with cars

  • People have high mental availability of safety incidents involving bike riders

  • Unsafe behaviours of drivers and pedestrians increases the risks

Bike riding can take considerable planning and thought before starting a new journey

  • There are many different things to think about when starting to cycle or starting a new bike riding journey

  • There are many unknowns in relation to routes and end of trip facilities

Skills and identity of a commuter bike rider are different to a recreational rider

  • The skills needed to ride on roads are different 

  • People lack the confidence to ride on city roads

  • Bike riders are the minority and people do not identify as being a commuter bike rider

Ambiguity about what the right behaviours are when riding

  • Those who don’t regularly ride can be uncertain of what the correct behaviours are while bike riding 

  • Signage around bike riding can be unclear or lacking prominence and importance  

Stickiness of existing habits 

  • Makes it difficult to start new riding habits

  • Easier to keep using existing modes of travel

What are the primary triggers to bike riding?

  • Bike riding is becoming safer with new infrastructure in Sydney

  • A key life moment or change is an opportunity to build new habits, such as relocation of job or home 

  • Bike riding is often the faster and more reliable mode of transport

  • Safer in the context of COVID-19 and there are physical health benefits

  • The thrill, freedom, feeling of adventure and social connection

What are the known data limitations for bike riding data?

  • Bike riding options (easier, moderate and more direct) are available via the Trip Planner API on the Open Data Hub however are not well known and may differ from options available on other navigation tools

  • Cycleway data (dedicated and shared corridors) not always accurate or complete

  • The bike riding network could be better defined and represented

  • Tools and methods for modelling bike riding use could be improved

  • Non-verified and limited bike rack data

What seed funding is available for the Innovation Challenge?
A seed funding pool of up to $90,000 is available. If seed funding is required, applicants must indicate an amount from $5,000 up to $50,000 excluding GST. Solutions will be evaluated against the selection criteria and must provide value for money.

What criteria will the judging be based on? 
More information about the judging criteria and format of the challenge will be provided at the information session.
Generally, Transport for NSW endorsed products are required to meet Endorsement Criteria, including factors such as:

  1. Customer Experience and Usability - is the solution appealing, effortless, intuitive and easy to use?

  2. Market Feasibility - Does the solution demonstrate knowledge of Transport’s customer base and will it be available to most people?

  3. Innovation - Is the product unique and original, and does it demonstrate tangible technical innovations?

  4. Commercial Sustainability - Can the idea sustain its commercial momentum? Is it likely to be profitable in the long term?

  5. Technical Feasibility - Can the team deliver the solution? Can they demonstrate an understanding of technical inputs to solution development and ensure ongoing technical stability?

Do we have to cover all of NSW or a particular area?
Your solution would ideally cover the whole of the NSW, however products will be evaluated on merit and on the customer experience.

What other opportunities are there to engage with Transport for NSW?
Transport for NSW regularly runs Hackathons and Innovation Challenges. For information about when these might be occurring please visit the innovation section of the Open Data Hub. 

Is there a process for approaching partners that might complement our skills? 
We do encourage you to partner with others if you wish, but we do not have the ability to facilitate and in person networking gathering at this time, due to physical distancing restrictions. We recommend using the Open Data Forum to connect with potential partners for this challenge. 

What happens to the IP which has been developed during the innovation challenge?
With all third party products developed through our Innovation Challenges, they are the IP of the original proponents. We will provide guidance and co-design feedback, but the IP is owned and run by you.

How many solutions will be accepted? 
We haven’t determined that yet. We’re open to more than one, and are not going to put a specific restriction on that.

How many applicants will be shortlisted to the pitch day?
There is no limit. We usually have up to 10, however if we have many great ideas we will listen to all of them.

Is there a guarantee of a contract with TfNSW for successful organisations/solutions?
No. As part of your submission, there is a question about how the solution will be made commercially sustainable. If we are to be the customer, you need to make that very clear and that will be taken into account. With all our products, we’d prefer not to be the customer, because we don’t want your reliance on NSW Government funding to be sustainable. We want an innovative product that will support you commercially, as well as our needs and our customers’ needs, so it’s a win-win-win.

Are there TfNSW digital guidelines available for UX/UI usability?
Proponents are expected to demonstrate adherence to best practice design and accessibility principles. Digital NSW does provide guidelines, however. TfNSW does not have specific guidelines around this. Accessibility should be a consideration.

What is the best way to connect and stay up to date?
Announcements via Twitter: @DataTfNSW
Add your email to our contact list:
Join the developer forum:
Technical issues: 

Frequently Asked Questions from the Virtual Information Session

What format are submissions expected to be made in?
Entries are now closed. 

I have compiled a bicycle path network map of Sydney. How would I connect with others who have the skills and not the bicycle path data?
Please use the Open Data Forum to connect with potential partners on this challenge. 

Can the project be the creation of a new dataset that e.g. goes into Open Data Portal - rather than a 'product' creation per se?
Absolutely. In terms of potential solutions, that is definitely something we’d consider. It doesn't have to be an app. 

Can you provide some insights on what you envisage the incubation period to involve?
We have various product requirements for Transport for NSW product endorsement. In terms of an app, we do extensive product testing, penetration/security testing depending on the data being collected. We also look at your product roadmap and what you’re trying to achieve, and provide access to Subject Matter Experts from within Transport for NSW as well as regular catch-ups. 

Can we submit more than one idea?
Yes, however only one submission per applicant can be chosen. 

Are existing bike sharing companies welcome to participate in the challenge?
Definitely. Anyone is welcome to participate. 

Would a tool that helps in improving the quality of biking-related data in OpenData qualify? For example an app that crowdsource data and contributes it back to TfNSW?
We’d love to see something like that. 

Should focus be on Sydney or is it NSW wide?
Both. A lot of the latest pop-up cycleways have been focused on Greater Sydney, but we should not rule out how to encourage more people to cycle in outer and regional metropolitan areas. Sometimes, active transport is the only option available to people in rural and regional areas, so a state-wide focus is welcome. 

Do you need to be based in NSW? Can people from interstate apply?
We welcome submissions from anyone based in Australia or with an Australian ABN. 

Can applications be accepted that meet some of your thought starters that are part of a larger cycling application?
Regarding thought starters, you do not need to tick them all off. Choosing one is fine. 

There are lot of commuters who work far away from their bus/train stop. They often have to jump on to different bus/train or walk. Do we have any data on that? As part of the solution it will be good if there are safety bike locks within city where we can park the bikes overnight and use them for commuting.  Given the issue with space in the city, is there a way to use car parking sites (such as Wilson) to allocate so spaces for cheaper rates?
Great idea. View available data in our Cycling dataset on the Open Data Hub

Are cyclists in NSW allowed to be notified via a mobile securely held on handlebars while they are riding? Other datasets could then be used to provide dynamic updates to cyclists while on their ride.
There is nothing preventing cyclists from doing this as long as the phone is mouted in a proper bike cradle. A mobile application solution must comply with NSW mobile phone rules for cyclists. I think James said it’s ok if the phone was mounted in a proper bike cradle.  Please note the solution (if it’s a mobile phone app) must comply with NSW mobile phone rules for cyclists, i.e. Full licence holders and bicycle riders are permitted to use particular mobile phone functions. These include making or answering a phone call, or playing audio, if the phone:

  • Is secured in a cradle; or

  • Can be used without touching any part of the phone (e.g. Bluetooth).

This also includes using a mobile phone as a driver’s aid (e.g. navigation) if the phone is secured in a cradle.   

The definition of ‘driver’s aid’ can be found here: 

The TfNSW mobile phone rules for cyclists can be found here: 

See also advice from Bicycle NSW:,detected%20in%20a%20school%20zone

Proponents would need to prove that their solution (if it’s a mobile phone app) is legal and that it didn’t promote rider distraction.  

Do you have much data available from regional centres (smaller than Wollongong and Newcastle)?
As far as facilities around stations, these are included in an audit being conducted which will hopefully be made available as open data. 

Will you be making your customer insights data available to help developers best target their approach?
The data we have collected talks about how to address this from a marketing and comms point of view. It is a huge dataset. What we’ve shared here in relation to the barriers are the key learnings secured from that research. 

We have been awarded seeding from TfNSW for "City Revitalisation Innovation Challenge" which addresses this challenge also. Are we excluded from applying for this grant to add new functionality?
You are welcome to make a submission, and we will evaluate it accordingly. 

Given that Google is the gorilla in the mapping room, can they be involved? I believe they are in Sydney and they don’t use the same datasets as the other map routing programs generally do.
We do work with Google to integrate our data into their platform, and they do share certain data with us. 

If you have an app designed for another city, can this be used to 'bring' it to NSW?
Yes, definitely. 

With seed funding, when you say value for money, what do you expect the seed funding money to be spent on?
Seed funding is generally spent on resources for developing the solution and other development costs, though it could include marketing. As it is seed funding, it may not cover the cost of the entire solution. We generally prefer if you have part of a product or a product with an existing user base. We need to make sure that there is value for money in the value the solution provides to our customers. 

While the target is bike riders, we recognise that motorist behaviour impacts rider safety. Can the approach also be towards motorists, eg in safely sharing the road with bikes
We agree with that. Safety is a massive part of this, and we try to address safety in a communications format as well, for both riders and cars’ behaviour towards riders. We work closely with the Centre for Road Safety on this. Improving safety for cyclists across the state is a priority, so any ideas for the use of tech in this space is only a good thing. 

Has any thought been given to facilitating a think tank where non-tech people can provide ideas/suggestions for tech people to work with? Alternatively, can a list of quality assured NSW/Australian tech companies be provided for people to get in contact with to develop solutions together?
We’ve worked closely with retailers to gain insights, there is a forum with local councils for feedback, we have had feedback from cyclists and walkers directly engaged with research, so there is a broad spectrum of people who have been involved. If you’re looking for partners, please use the Open Data Forum.

Does TfNSW have access to data from apps such as Komoot, Strava and Google Maps (the latter for folks flagged as bicycling)?
We have at times been provided high level anonymised data from Strava. Many Strava users are confident cyclists, and the areas they cycle on are often uncomfortable for casual bike riders, such as freeways. 

Would you be able to make customer feedback data available? Is it geo-located?
No additional customer feedback data will be provided aside from barriers and related information provided above. 

If the seed funding is part of the overall build that takes longer than 12 weeks, is it still worth applying?
What we’re trying to achieve is the best outcome possible. We’d prefer a solution was the best it possibly could be when it gets to customers. If it does go beyond the three month period, depending on the solution, arrangements can be made to accommodate. 

Do TfNSW take IP of anything generated from the project?
No, all IP remains with you. We take no ownership. If you are able to supply data to TfNSW, that is very much welcome. 

Are you planning to update the cycleway dataset regularly?
The pop up cycleway data will be updated regularly including the cycling count data.

Has Health (hospitals), Education (schools) etc. (BIG trip generators) been involved in development of this and other innovation challenges (e.g. car pooling, parking etc.)?
At times we have engaged other departments, depending on what we’re doing. We work very closely with Health and Sport & Rec around their programs, and how we can align and work together to promote active transport. Everything in the active transport space cuts across many state and local government agencies. This challenge is a technical delivery, so they are not involved in the details here. 

Could anyone develop an app for motorists, on bike rider empathy training?
All ideas are welcome as long as they meet the submission criteria. 

What about the use of bus lanes?
Guidelines are available for where bikes can and cannot use bus lanes, as well as cyclist road rules. TfNSW is in the process of consolidating all this information, along with additional information about which public transport services bikes may be brought on, which will be provided on the .info website when available. 

Are there any non programming tools that can use the bicycle network data or is it all API calls and deeper programming languages?
The data available on the Open Data Hub is mostly GIS data, and would, like the Trip Planner API, require some development skills to use. 

With regards to the focusing on utility bike trips, how often is a utility trip a commute to and from work vs a non-commute like cycling to the cinema, do we have data on this?
This level of information is not currently available. 

How will the solution that you are expecting be different from other cycling apps available? Eg. we can use the cycleway dataset to provide trip planning (hopefully). What are you expecting as the differentiator?
We’re looking for the ideas we haven’t thought of yet. This is why we are putting this challenge out to industry. One thing we’d like to see is something that is engaging, that makes it fun for people to choose bike riding and to encourage them to keep coming back to the solution. Another point is that available bike riding trip planners do not consider things like trees and views along the cycling route provided, which some users may value over the fastest route.