Transport for the North confirms development of bus open data tool
Posted: 7 February 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The tool is said to help bus operators comply with upcoming government regulations – being introduced under the Bus Services Act 2017 – that will require fares data for local bus services across England to be published in a standardised, open-source data format from January 2021.
Following the government’s recent announcement on the launch of the Bus Open Data Service, Transport for the North (TfN) has confirmed the development of a new ‘Fares Data Build Tool’ which aims to help regional bus operators comply with the upcoming national open data regulations.
The Fares Data Build Tool will be free to use for bus operators and local transport authorities (LTAs) who are responsible for publishing this data. Ultimately, it aims to benefit bus passengers by making it easier for them to find out how much a journey will cost and compare options before they travel.
The tool is being developed in collaborative partnership between TfN, the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Bus Open Data programme and Traveline Information Ltd. The shared approach has been agreed to complement and enhance industry aspirations for better data provision to make public transport, especially buses, more accessible.
Once created, the fares data will be published and accessible via both the DfT’s Bus Open Data Service and Transport for the North’s own regional Open Data Hub (also currently under development for launch later in 2020).
The Fares Data Build Tool will be delivered first in the North, but subject to a final decision from the DfT, could be rolled out as a national solution. Delivery is expected be completed by late 2020.
Steve Howes, Integrated and Smart Travel Director at Transport for the North, said: “We are looking forward to collaborating with Infinity Works to deliver our innovative Fares Data Build Tool. By helping operators and local authorities improve the provision of bus fares information, passengers will benefit from knowing more about how much their journey will cost and being able to more easily compare different options available to them. Combined with the Department for Transport and Transport for the North’s wider ‘smart’ initiatives, this will make planning journeys on public transport easier than ever and help make it the preferred choice for travel across our region.”