Bus Open Data Service: What can Operators and Authorities Expect?

by Mar 5, 2020Blog

With the Bus Open Data Service now live, and the government legally requiring operators to use the system by the end of this year, bus operators have been challenged to change how they work.

This change is likely to present both opportunities and risks to already stretched local authorities who could be left to pick up the pieces – while managing a damaging cycle of reducing faith in bus services – should operators fail to meet their requirements.

The risks here seem most likely to relate to smaller operators who may lack the skills, knowledge or tools to keep up to date with the changing landscape.

But perhaps the most significant issue for authorities relates to uncertainty, given that the full extent of the approaching changes are as yet unknown. However, based on our own conversations with the DfT, local authorities and also bus operators, it is clear that local authorities’ transport information systems will remain part of the solution.

It seems likely that in the future local authorities will take on the role of bus information agencies, either by creating data on behalf of operators or by providing shared systems through which operators are able to input, edit and access data. In this scenario, it will be essential that operators and authorities are able to access a single shared system – complete with all required access and security restrictions – and also that both registration and real-time schedule data can be processed via a single platform.

Trapeze’s Novus solution is already well equipped here, and indeed, we are currently working with a group of clients – including an authority and local bus operators – on a shared platform which outputs data in the required format, designed to help all parties to deliver on the Bus Services Act’s laudable ambitions.

If you would like to know more about this pilot or would like to discuss how Bus Open Data could be delivered in your area, please get in touch.

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