Bus passengers can now access live timetable data for every local bus service in England as part of a Government project.
The Bus Open Data Service aims to standardise and openly publish information from operators, which will enable bus users to plan routes, understand costs in advance and predict bus arrival times.
Baroness Vere,buses minister, said: “We know the value of our buses - responsible for around 12 million trips a day, they take us on the everyday journeys that make up our lives.
“But we want to create agolden age for our buses, and we can only do this if passengers find them easy to use and understand how much journeys will cost.”
Timetable information will be followed in 2021 by location and fares data. At this point it is expected that a range of apps will be on the market, allowing passengers to manage their journeys from start to finish from their smartphones.
The launch of the Bus Open Data Service follows the Government’s announcement of new low-fare, high-frequency ‘Superbus’ networks, Britain’s first all-electric bus town and contactless payments on every city bus.
The package, worth £220 million in the first year, will see many cuts to services reversed. It will create ‘express lanes’ for buses in the West Midlands and elsewhere, and will invest in new ways of providing more frequent public transport in the countryside and other places where conventional buses have dwindled or disappeared.
The Government has also committed to a long-term bus strategy and funding settlement, including support for councils who want to create London-style franchised services in their areas.