The Department for Transport is aiming to improve services for UK bus passengers and get even more consumers to use public transport, with the launch of an open data initiative that aims to provide the public with more detailed information on routes, timetables, real-time location and fares.
The Bus Open Data Service is set for launch early this year, and will provide scope for developers to create new services, following similar programmes for public transport APIs in London and Bristol.
Developers will be able to add the information into existing apps or develop new products to improve connectivity for communities and encourage more people to turn to public transport.
Transport minister Baroness Vere said: “By harnessing the transforming power of data and technology we could be on the threshold of a golden age for buses. Sharing data on routes, bus locations and fares will give passengers even more confidence to ride.”
The plan dates back to 2016, when the Government forced private bus operators to push information about routes, fares, timetables and delays into the realms of open data.
The initiative has been supported by the Open Data Institute, whose commercial director David Beardmore said: “This marks the start of a digital transformation for the delivery of bus services across England and will benefit both the tech industry who will use the data to innovate and develop new products and services.
“But fundamentally consumers are the ultimate winners; armed with better information they can plan their journeys more easily and make better choices about tickets.”
Last year, Transport for London offered its Cycling Infrastructure Database to third party developers, in a move aimed at making life easier for the hundreds of thousands of cyclists who ride the capital’s streets each day.
Claimed to be the largest data-set of its kind in the world, the database contains the location of more than 240,000 pieces of infrastructure, such as cycle lanes and parking spaces, and has been made available to all of London’s boroughs.