Smart Transport

First Bus opens up timetable data ahead of DfT deadline

First Bus, one of the UK’s largest bus operators, has opened up its timetable data ahead of the DfT's Bus Open Data Service (BODS) December 31 deadline.

First Bus worked with transport software provider Omnibus to prepare its data to work with the new BODS regulations.

The new regulations will require all bus operators and certain local authorities in England outside Greater London to make their bus data available to the DfT who will in turn publish it online.

Part of the data will include details on routes, operators, stopping places, pricing, ticketing and timetables of bus services.

Any changes to services will have to be submitted to the DfT as part of the BODS.

Timetables and stop data requirements will be enforceable from December 31 this year.

Basic fares and ​location data will be enforceable from January 7, 2021, with complex fares being added from January 7, 2023.

Michael Meilton, BODS project leader for Omnibus, said: “We are working closely with all our customers to ensure that they are BODS ready. 

“We are ensuring that they are aware of the need for the TransXChange to be in a specific BODS format, and not getting caught out by thinking that their existing exports fit the bill, as unfortunately they won’t.

“Our developers have worked wonders in creating software that ensures the data can be exported in a compliant format, with minimal impact on schedulers’ workloads.”

John Birtwistle, head of policy for First Bus, said: “The work that Omnibus has done has simplified the process.

“The software does its job perfectly. We have been able to compile our BODS data seamlessly,  enabling us to meet the DFT deadline efficiently for customers.”

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