Dynamic pricing has completely changed the way mass transit tickets are being sold to customers. The system is murky: it\’s difficult to determine how the algorithms work. We scraped 250000 price points in Finnish transit over two months to reveal the logic of the algorithms in air, train and bus traffic. This way customers get to see if the offered price is actually good or not.
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What makes this project innovative?
The story sheds light on a new digital age phenomena using advanced scraping techniques. Without the method the data wouldn't have been available to us or the public for analysis.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
The story was among most read during the weeks when it was published, so it stirred a lot of interest and shares in social media.
Source and methodology
We gathered data for more than two months from train company VR.fi, bus company Onnibus.com and Google Flights using a program written with Ruby and Selenium. We stored thousands of data points daily, totaling to about 250 000 price points. The scraper was written by one person over several weeks, and the sae person also did the analysis. In the actual article there was a team of a writer, a coder, a graphic designer and a producer.
Selenium, Ruby, Vue.js, FullPage.js
Juhani Saarinen, Elisa Bestetti, Boris Stefanov, Emma-Leena Ovaskainen