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November 07 2018
By Michaela Peacock

Michaela writes for routeone and Group Tourism & Travel magazines

Open data will improve passenger experiences

Meera Nayyar, Head of Passenger Experience (Bus) at the Department for Transport (DfT), used her seminar in the Master Class Theatre to discuss the DfT’s Bus Open Data (BOD) Programme.

The seminar highlighted that consumers are increasingly using digital services. It said that customers want integrated information on multi-modal journeys; a ‘single source of truth,’ ideally with a single app or website; real-time reliable information including disruption alerts for a hassle-free journey; and information about prices and payment through a single platform.

Open data does exist in the bus industry already, with an example given from Traveline which publishes national bus data including timetable and real-time information where available.

But, as Ms Nayyar says, bus data availability is often insufficient or inconsistent. She says: “9% of buses in England are not providing real-time information to passengers and there is no single source of bus data on arrival times, real-time locations, fare prices and ticketing.”

It was said that in England, bus patronage has fallen by 4% since 2009/10, with low satisfaction among some passengers due to not having access to information for journey planning.

Ms Nayyar explained that BOD will be a digital service that will transform delivery of bus services through the provision of high-quality open data to enable bus passengers to easily plan journeys, find best value tickets and receive real-time service updates at their fingtips, regardless of where in England they travel.

The BOD Programme aims to have open bus data by 2020, this includes all local bus services across England only with now exemptions. Route and timetables (2019), with fares, tickets and real-time information (2020) all in scope.

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