Three years after setting off, Bus Open Data Service wants consultants to help it on its journey

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The UK's Department for Transport is promising a £24 cardinal ($30 million) statement to a tech biz that tin thief group up a wide scope of information services to supply accusation connected section autobus services.

The DfT said it expected that nan proviso of precocious quality, meticulous and unfastened information would "help passengers scheme journeys, find champion worth tickets and get real-time work updates immoderate portion of England they are in," according to a tender notice to commencement early engagement pinch suppliers.

The hunt for amended information successful nan pockets of passengers looking for a autobus has been in-train for much than 3 years.

In 2020, DfT launched plans for nan Bus Open Data Service (BODS), a integer work for making autobus work accusation disposable arsenic unfastened information nether nan Public Service Vehicles Regulations. It allowed nan carrier curate to legislate and require autobus operators to unfastened information for section autobus services crossed England connected routes and timetables, fares and tickets and location accusation from 2020.

Some of these information services already exist.

From 31 December 2020, location was an responsibility to supply autobus timetable information to nan service. The pursuing January, operators were obliged to springiness BODS conveyance location and basal fares and tickets data, while from nan commencement of this year, operators needed to connection analyzable fares and summons information to comply pinch nan law. Companies specified arsenic ITO World and Omnibus person begun providing devices and services based connected nan information available.

The dream is that information will make section buses much appealing to travellers. In a policy paper that was published on pinch nan plans — and pinch nan thief of Deloitte and nan Open Data Institute — nan section said it wanted “a mobility ecosystem that delivers seamless intermodal proscription faster, cheaper, cleaner, much responsive and safer than today. This will beryllium enabled by unfastened information connected fares and journeys crossed each modes – information that is disposable to everyone to access, usage and share".

The insubstantial said location are 3 times arsenic galore trips successful England made by section autobus than by rail, pinch much than 60 percent of each nationalist carrier journeys made by bus.

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However, nan BODS task has travel pinch immoderate difficulties. In 2020, authorities spending watchdog nan National Audit Office said [PDF] nan DfT recognized concerns from smaller operators astir imaginable costs of complying pinch nan unfastened information requirements. “It has provided free information creation devices and information hosting and plans further support; it is excessively early to measure nan level of compliance aliases value of information aliases whether these measures will stimulate request and summation nan beneficial effects of title for users.”

More specifications of really nan BODS will get other thief will look successful October adjacent twelvemonth erstwhile nan section starts nan general title for a supplier by publishing a statement notice.

Whatever nan outcome, nan DfT hopes to get much up-to-date accusation to passengers by utilizing nan BODS. Whether they tin get a autobus is different matter. Reports past month said astatine slightest 1,500 autobus routes had been trim successful England complete nan past 2 years. ®