Obligation of service providers to provide access to data
Pursuant to the Act on Transport Services, all transport operators and authorities shall, from 1 January onwards, give other actors access to the data on their services.
Under the Act on Transport Services, all mobility service providers shall open the relevant data on their services in open interfaces. This obligation applies to all mobility service providers, regardless of their mode of transport.
- passenger transport services (including bus and taxi services, air- or waterborne passenger transport)
- stations, ports and other terminals
- transport mode rentals and services for commercial ridesharing services
- general commercial parking services
- brokering and dispatch services
Examples of such essential data include routes, stops, timetables, prices and fares as well as information on the availability and accessibility of services. However, all data is not essential for all services. The data to be opened up has been defined in the Government Decree (in Finnish or Swedish).
The essential data shall be stored in the NAP service, opened by the Finnish Transport Agency on the website www.finap.fi.
Alternatives for storing data in the NAP service
The obligation to open up the data applies to all transport operators. If the required data is maintained by some other party, the service provider shall agree with that party on who will open up the data. Taxi companies, for example, may open up the data in collaboration with the taxi brokering and dispatch services. Companies that only provide contracted transport services, for example, those who have been awarded contracts through a competent authority’s competitive tendering, may agree with the authority in question on who will open up the data.
Service providers may open up their data in any of these three alternative ways:
- Mobility service providers with essential data on services in their own interface.Open their own interface for essential data and store the data describing the interface in the interface catalogue of the NAP service, maintained by the Finnish Transport Agency.
- Mobility service providers, whose data is partly or wholly maintained by some other party (for example the route and timetable interface, sales or reservation interface). Agree with, for example, the brokering and dispatch service providers that they open up the transport company’s data at the same time as opening their own interfaces in the NAP service.
- A service provider with no essential data stored in an interface. Store all essential data directly in the Finnish Transport Agency’s NAP service (minor actors)
Regardless of the alternative selected, the actor is responsible for keeping the information up-to-date at all times. The Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) is the supervisory body overseeing the process of opening up the data.
Providing access to a sales interface for the ticket and payment system
The obligation to provide access to sales interfaces in ticket and payment systems applies to those road and rail passenger transport operators, who manage a ticket and payment system. They are obliged to provide access to their sales interface enabling the purchase of a standard-rate single-journey ticket. Transport operators providing only such transport services which are not contracted by a competent authority, are exempted, if it is not technically feasible or reasonable for them to fulfill this obligation (minor actors).
The obligation also applies to those that have interfaces enabling booking of journeys. In the taxi business, for example, the obligation primarily applies to those operators that have a data-based booking system with a service for pre-booking taxis. In practice, this obligation applies to taxi brokering and dispatch services. It does not apply to small taxi companies, where the booking is handled by phone or email.
The data on the interface for the ticket and payment system shall also be stored in the interface catalogue of the NAP service.
Access to interfaces for ticket and payment systems always requires an agreement between the party opening the interface and the user. The agreement is always negotiated between these parties. Prior to the contract negotiations, it is advisable to acquaint oneself with the practices laid down in the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority’s Interoperability of ticket and payment systems project (Lippu). These include important issues to be agreed on, as well as the legal requirements. It is worthwhile, for example, to agree on issues concerning responsibility, information security and data protection. The operator can attach the terms and conditions of access to the information provided via the interfaces.
An interface example is also presented in the Lippu project. This example meets the legal obligations. Additional interfaces, which are in compliance with the legislation, are also accepted, but the interface example serves as a guide, especially for minor actors.
More information on the Lippu project on the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority’s website.