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Finalists in the challenge will have the opportunity to be endorsed by TfNSW. TfNSW endorses products that are of high quality, innovative and solve customer problems. Endorsed products are required to meet the Judging Criteria, including factors such as:

  • Customer Experience
  • Market Feasibility
  • Evidence-based
  • Innovation
  • Commercial Sustainability
  • Technical Feasibility


What is the Travel Choices Innovation Challenge?

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is reaching out to app developers to develop an innovative product that can influence customer travel behaviours. The successful product will support TfNSW’s Travel Choices program.

Sydney is undergoing some major transport changes and we want to guide customer travel behaviour to reduce the impact of major construction for customers and to shape long term, sustainable travel behaviour. Our goal is to keep Sydney moving and reduce private vehicle trips in peak hours as Sydney keeps growing. The Travel Choices Innovation Challenge is an investment to develop a product which informs customer travel choice and influences travel behaviours.

The product should aim to reduce the impact of major construction for customers and shape long term, sustainable travel behaviours.

The Travel Choices Innovation Challenge will focus on the core principles of the Travel Choices program (remode, retime, reduce and reroute). However, these principles need to be translated for a customer facing product. We are looking for a product which utilises TfNSW open data to support the principles of the program and considers the function and usability of existing tools and products. The product should make it easier for customers to obtain and interpret travel information which is specific to their needs but also to influence their travel behaviour away from private vehicle use.

What is the aim of the Travel Choices Innovation Challenge?

TfNSW want to guide customer travel behaviour to reduce the impact of major transport construction and land use development for customers and to shape long term, sustainable travel behaviour.

TfNSW’s Sydney Coordination Office (SCO) has established a hugely successful Travel Demand Management (TDM) program, Travel Choices, to support the construction of the CBD and South East Sydney Light Rail which is being expanded to other areas including the B-Line corridor and Macquarie Park precinct. Travel choices is the behaviour change program that, alongside network management and capacity creation, forms the SCO’s integrated travel demand management approach.

This is in recognition of TDM’s vital role in the creation of liveable communities and in place management. Through its targeted approach, Travel Choices has achieved travel behaviour change with our customers, contributing to a reduction in congestion on our road corridors and freeing up capacity on key public transport corridors. This enables the economy to flourish.

TfNSW is looking to harness new ideas to solve the complex transport issues that face Sydney as our population continues to grow and as we experience unprecedented levels of development investment.

TfNSW aims to consolidate travel app options and open data for our customers and pair these with messages that influence travel behaviour. We need to support and incorporate public transport and active transport choices into customers’ everyday lives and reduce private vehicle use where it is not the best option for the trip.

What is Travel Demand Management?

Travel Demand Management (TDM) is the application of strategies and policies to reduce travel demand on a network, or to redistribute this demand in space or in time. TDM strategies and policies are data-led and are designed to solve specific problems with transport network performance.

What is Travel Choices?

Travel Choices is a hugely successful travel behaviour program, established by TfNSW’s Sydney Coordination Office, to support the construction of the CBD and South East Sydney Light Rail. The program is part of the SCO’s integrated approach to Travel Demand Strategy, alongside network management and capacity creation. The program engages with commuters across the CBD to provide them with targeted information and tools to inform their travel choices and to maximise the efficiency of Sydney’s transport network. It is targeted to reduce single-occupancy car travel.

Travel Choices utilises the following principles to engage and influence travel behaviour change:

  • Remode – Customer Message: Use public transport as driving may no longer be your best option.
  • Retime – Customer Message: Avoid travel during the peak
  • Reroute – Customer Message: Use preferred driving routes where possible.
  • Reduce – Customer Message: Minimise the number of times you have to travel, especially by car.

In the Sydney CBD, Travel Choices has:

  • Reached 169,200 customers
  • Engaged with 644 CBD businesses
  • Given one-on-one advice to 111 larger CBD businesses
  • Delivered 88 workshops, with attendance from 550 CBD businesses

To see more about Travel Choices go to

What is the new product trying to achieve?

Entries in the Travel Choices Innovation Challenge will need to address two inter-related mandatory challenges. Applications could also look to address some or all of the additional challenges.

Mandatory Challenges (Must Haves):

  1. How can we develop a product to provide information to our customers that persuades and enables them to re-mode, retime, reroute and reduce their journeys by promoting the financial, social, environmental and health benefits for our commuting customers and the costs of private vehicle.
  2. How can we use open data (and other existing tools and products) to make it easier for customers to obtain and interpret travel information which is specific to their needs?

Additional Challenges (Nice to Haves):

  1. How might we connect commuters with local businesses along major corridors to reroute journeys and promote local economies?
  2. How might we connect and alert commuters with local events and activities in proximity to their commuting journey to retime journeys?
  3. How might we connect users with wifi hotspots to reduce the need to travel?
  4. How might the product promote an increase in public transport for longer jouneys (remoding)?
  5. How might the product promote an increase in walking (2km catchment) and cycling (5km catchment) trips for shorter journeys (remoding)?
  6. How might we support users to change their travel behaviours through a behaviour change process ( and ensure the new behaviours becomes embedded and measure this?
  7. How might the product encourage car sharing/car pooling?
  8. How might the product be used in different spatial areas eg in large strategic centres, on transport corridors or in more local precincts?
  9. How might the product provide TfNSW with data to see when and where customers are travelling, by what mode and at what times (planned and actual journeys)?

How will the Innovation Challenge work?

Interested applicants will have the opportunity to explore the challenge with subject matter experts at an information session one week after the launch of the Challenge to help develop their submission. Please register for this event at Eventbrite by COB Tuesday 6 June if you would like to attend. These sessions are used as a forum to ask questions and get information before applications are submitted two weeks later.

Applicants will be offered support to complete their ideas, including access to data relevant to their proposal. In your submission you must complete an application form which includes contact details, a summary of the product/idea and your responses to the questions. Applicants have the option to submit a video pitch (up to 5 minutes in length) to present your idea/product. Applicants who submit a video will not be favoured over those who do not.

Applications will be assessed based on their potential to address the mandatory challenges. Applications that look to address some or all of the additional challenges will be viewed favourably as will those that meet the following six judging criteria:

  • Customer experience
  • Market feasibility
  • Evidence-based
  • Innovation
  • Commercial sustainability
  • Technical feasibility

Up to five individuals/teams will be selected to progress to the next stage of the challenge.

Finalists will then need to pitch their ideas to the judging panel, with the winning submission announced within 7 weeks.

The winning product may require an incubation program in preparation for endorsement by TfNSW and the product’s launch. If the product does not require an incubation period it will be ready once the winner is announced. If the product does require an incubation period the product will be ready within three months of the winner being announced.

How will a winner be selected?

Finalists will be judged on their pitch and how the product addresses the challenges. The judging panel will be looking for innovative solutions that show a clear understanding of behaviour change and address the challenges posed. Pitches will be judged on the same judging criteria as applications.

Who can participate in the Innovation Challenge?

Anyone who is up for the challenge. We are looking for innovative thinkers with a disruptive mindset, who understand how people’s travel behaviour can be influenced and the positive impacts travel behaviour change can have on our cities and communities, on the way we live our lives. Participants can come from a variety of skill sets / backgrounds. Individuals with coding, design, innovation and/or business skills are highly encouraged to participate.

What data is available to me?

TfNSW offers a number of datasets and application programming interfaces (APIs) for all public transport modes available on Transport for NSW’s Open Data. These include static timetable information, as well as live and real time information.

What is Open Data?

Open data is the idea that public information should be accessible, used, modified and shared by anyone for any purpose without restrictions. Open data should be both technically and legally open: technically open in that it is available and accessible to the community, and legally open in so far as there are appropriate licensing frameworks in place to facilitate its release, use and reuse by the community. You can find more information on Open Data here.

Where can I get access to Open Data?

To access TfNSW data you will need to register and sign in via the Open Data Hub and Developer Portal. The register button can be found at the top of the page.

Where can I get help using the Open Data Hub and Developer Portal?

We have a number of channels to help you:

If you need help with data or technical questions, please read the Getting Started and Documentation pages. If you still have questions, you can post a question in the Forum. Be sure to read previous posts before posting a question, the answer may already be there.

When do applications open and close?

Applications will open 2 June 2017 and close on the 23 June 2017.

When will the new product/s be available for use?

It is anticipated the new product will go live between July and October 2017.

Some key statistics:

  • Sydney’s population is expected to leap by more than 2.1 million people in the next 20 years – about 170,000 more than predicted only 2 years ago.
  • Over 630,000 trips are made to the city centre daily – 62% by public transport and 35% by car. This is forecast to increase by 25% (155,000 trips) by 2031.
  • To move 450 people takes 1300m of road space when using private motor vehicles, whereas only 67m of road space is needed to move them using light rail.
  • The national guideline for recommended daily physical activity is 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity weight; 60% of the Australian population do not attain this.
  • Every kilometre walked/cycled instead of driving cuts out 0.2kg of CO2.