A tool I made for Londoners that makes journey planning quicker

TfL's Journey Planner is a great resource for figuring out the best way of getting from place to place in London.

I've created a tool the speeds up the process. Here's a bit of background...

It can be a bit of a pain to fill in the Journey Planner form every time. Usually, I'm wanting to figure out how to get from my home address to some place and I also always adjust my walking speed to Fast.

One day I thought, wouldn't it be great if I could just highlight the destination address on a website, press a button and get the journey planner results without having to fill in all that other info. Or if I could just press a button and get the form already filled in.

My solution was a bookmarklet. A clever little bookmark that dose all the form filling for me.

I later came up with a greasemonkey script that turns post codes on websites into clickable links that show me journey planner results from my house .

I've had both working for a while and wanted to share them with you. The tricky part is that the bookmarklet and the greasemonkey script are customised to me - my home address and my walking speed.

So here's what I've done...

My first web tool

I've created a tool that generates the bookmarklet and the script based on your home post code and walking speed.

Check it out here.

In reply to a comment

I got a comment from Tom which I want to reply to but the comment system is messing with my URLs so here's my reply:

If there's a journey you take regularly you can build a URL that will take you to the journey planner results for that journey. You can then bookmark it a go to it whenever you want an up-to-date plan. It's not quite as good as getting an email with the info in it but it might be useful. Here's what the URL would look like (look for the square brackets to see what you need to customise:

http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en&sessionID=0&requestID=0&ptOptionsActive=1&itOptionsActive=1&imparedOptionsActive=1&ptAdvancedOptions=1&advOptActive_2=1&advOpt_2=1&execInst=normal&command=&itdLPxx_request=&itdLPxx_view=&itdLPxx_tubeMap=&calculateDistance=1&name_origin=[STARTING POSTCODE WITH A + SIGN INSTEAD OF A SPACE eg EC1+2DU]&nameState_origin=notidentified&nameDefaultText_origin=start&place_origin=London&type_origin=locator&name_destination=[ENDING POSTCODE WITH A + SIGN INSTEAD OF A SPACE]&nameState_destination=notidentified&nameDefaultText_destination=end&place_destination=London&type_destination=locator&itdTripDateTimeDepArr=dep&Submit=Search&routeType=LEASTTIME&name_via=Enter+location+%28optional%29&nameState_via=notidentified&nameDefaultText_via=Enter+location+%28optional%29&type_via=stop&place_via=London&placeDefaultText_via=London&includedMeans=checkbox&inclMOT_11=1&inclMOT_0=on&inclMOT_1=on&inclMOT_2=on&inclMOT_4=on&inclMOT_5=on&inclMOT_7=on&inclMOT_9=on&trITMOTvalue101=60&trITMOTvalue=20&trITMOT=100&changeSpeed=fast

For the mobile version just change journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk to m.tfl.gov.uk/mt/journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk in the URL (looks odd but it's right!)

Also have a look at my greasemonkey script that makes logging into twitter a little bit quicker.

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  • David Laban

    I found this tool using google, but it’s not quite what I want. I am looking for something that’s equivalent to traintimes.org.uk’s bookmarkable route finders (e.g. traintimes.org.uk/cambridge/london) and is okay for mobile use. Do you know if such a site exists?

    I’m thinking something like tfl.stevemould.com/s-p/kgx/e49qt/ (where s-p means station-postcode) which redirects you to the appropriate search results.

    Thoughs?

    • http://twitter.com/MouldS Steve Mould

      Hi David,

      That’s a great idea. I might look at creating something like that.

      In the mean time there are a couple of options that spring to mind…

      First thing is, once you perform a search on TFL you can then bookmark that page and re use it! So long as you didn’t specify a time and date when you did it, it’ll be relevant the next time you click it.

      The second though was that it might be possible to pass multiple variables to a smart keyword search. Though I’ve not been able fine any resources for that!

  • Gareth

    I’m using your tool now, Steve! Great job.
    Gareth from SC.

    • http://stevemould.com Steve Mould

      Thanks Gareth!

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  • Tom

    I take some routes regularly where connections change, depending on where TFL is doing maintenance. I’d like to create a webapp that emails me the best route on a regular basis, say every weekday morning. Any ideas on how to approach this? 

    • http://stevemould.com Steve Mould

      Good question! I’ve replied at the end of the post because this comment system was messing up my URL!

  • Tom

    great stuff  +++ thanks Steve

    Just trying this now – this is a very good start. I like email idea because it can be picked up on the phone en route to somewhere. But a shortcut using your link formula on the phone desktop may work just as well – thanks again. 

    • http://stevemould.com Steve Mould

      I’ve update the post to show what you need to do for the mobile friendly version!

      • Tom

        nice one. was just wondering about that.

        another approach I’m trying is ‘if this then that’. would require a channel on that site that can access the TFL api. not sure if that’s doable yet!  https://ifttt.com/channels

        • Tom

          hmm. I guessing probably not..