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TubeTap – The app that gets Londoners refunds

THE SWARM’s first independent smartphone app, TubeTap has launched.

TubeTap is a new app, developed by The Swarm and Turned On Digital, which automatically identifies a travelers’ Underground route, calculates the journey-time and then requests a refund when the traveler is delayed by more than 15 minutes from the estimated journey time. The app submits a refund request to TFL automatically, requiring only one click from the user to consent to their data being used. A refund cheque is then sent directly to customers.

It is estimated that £34m worth of refunds are owed to Tube commuters each year but – shockingly – only £2m in actual refunds are made, according to some estimates. Unlike other apps, TubeTap offers an automated service. All users need to do is use it like an Oyster Card – touching it when they enter and leave the station and the app does the rest.

Representing  a breakthrough in the way public data can be used to empower citizens, TubeTap has been built entirely using open data from Transport For London’s and TfL’s travel API. It builds on the conditions of carriage for commuters that state that if a passenger is delayed by more than 15 minutes from the estimated journey time, they are owed a refund. Until now, this has required that users manually track the delays and then apply when they get to a PC (after a frustrating journey) or by letter.  Mobile technology lets passengers do this in the palm of their hand, while they’re travelling.

The project is being done in conjunction with Turned On Digital.