Department for Transport’s bus open data project gets new support

Posted: 6 January 2021 | | No comments yet

The DfT hopes that the new open data programme will reduce waiting times for buses in the UK and make fares more transparent.

Bus waiting times could be reduced

The DfT is hoping that the new open dtata project will reduce waiting times for buses in the UK.

The power of open data: improving experiences for operators and public transport riders

Featuring speakers from the Department for Transport (DfT), West Yorkshire Combined Authority and MOOVIT, this free webinar introduces the DfT’s Bus Open Data Service (BODS), the new UK regulation that requires Bus Operators to provide timetables, real-time vehicle locations, and ticketing/fare information in a central data depository.

The UK Department for Transport has announced a partnership with technology provider Moovit to begin utilising the Bus Open Data Service (BODS) – a central source of timetable, bus location, and fare data of every bus operator across England.

Operators are now committed to openly publishing and storing transport information in BODS’ standard format, which will give passengers the most precise and up-to-date bus information so they can accurately plan their journeys and understand costs in advance.

According to the Bus Passenger Survey by Transport Focus, UK ridership has been on the decline, even preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly due to the lack of journey planning information available.

The BODS pioneer project from the Department for Transport is standardising and openly publishing bus operator data so that passengers across England will be able to better plan journeys down to the minute, know how much their bus ride will cost in advance, and save time waiting for the bus. It will also enable developers to add BODS’ information into existing or new apps and products meant to provide riders all they need to more easily plan and ride efficient and accurate journeys.

“This will significantly further the ability of BODS to digitally transform the delivery of bus services and, ultimately, the passenger experience,” said Meera Nayyar, Head of Passenger Experience (Buses and Taxis) at the Department for Transport.

“Moovit will help revolutionise the way in which the DfT, and other stakeholders, collect and analyse bus data, enabling us to identify network optimisations more easily and help us support operators in reporting their on-time performance statistics.”

Moovit recently collaborated on a similar project with Transport for the North (TfN), the subnational transport body representing the north of England’s twenty local transport authorities, on TfN’s Open Data Hub. The Open Data Hub is an initiative of TfN’s £150 million Integrated and Smart Travel programme.

“Moovit and the Department for Transport share a vision of simplifying urban mobility for millions of UK residents,” said Luke Redfern, UK Partnerships Manager at Moovit.

“We are delighted to work at the forefront of the development of the world-leading BODS system with the Department for Transport, and bring confidence back to public transport riders as they navigate their journeys.”

Bus operators were legally required to provide timetable data by the end of 2020 and fare, ticket and location data by January 2021. The regulations aim to boost passenger confidence, as well as help keep fares down via greater transparency across different operators.

To find out more about how the Department for Transport are working together with Moovit on BODS, register for Intelligent Transport‘s upcoming webinar on 19 January, The power of open data: improving experiences for operators and public transport riders, where you’ll hear from Department for Transport, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Moovit.