Department begins consultation on taking more information from bus operators into realm of open data
The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation on legally requiring bus operators to share their data so passengers can get real time information on bus routes, timetables and fares.
It will also look at making companies provide audio and visual information on buses.
Announcing the move, Buses Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “By requiring bus operators to share their data, we can make sure that passengers have the information they need to catch the bus with ease, equipped with the right information about the time and cost.
“This move will also open up opportunities for innovation within the industry, support local services where demand is falling and help increase bus usage across the country.”
Last year’s Bus Services act was passed as primary legislation to give the secretary of state the power to require bus operators to open up their data. The consultation marks the beginning of the secondarily legislation phase that will involve officials drawing up more specific legislation and regulations.
The DfT pointed to the existing example of Reading Buses using open data to support passengers, saying it has helped to increase the number people travelling by 48% since 2009.
Transport for London has also made significant progress in the field, having made the equivalent data open for app developers and claiming this has provided big economic benefits for the city.
In recent days the DfT has also launched a procurement for support in developing a Bus Open Data service to provide scope for developers to create new passenger information services.
Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0