Analyse Bus Open Data (ABOD)
Since its introduction in December 2020, the Analyse Bus Open Data (ABOD) platform has supported the UK’s National Bus Strategy, empowering every partnership between bus operator and local transport authority in England to deliver against their Bus Service Improvement Plans.
Announced in March 2021, the strategy lays out an ambitious and far-reaching reform of how services outside of London are planned and delivered. It aims to make buses more frequent, more reliable, easier to understand and use, better coordinated and cheaper. It sets out to dramatically increase passenger numbers, reduce congestion, carbon emissions and pollution.
Combining route and timetable information with vehicle location data using robust algorithms for departure and arrival prediction, ABOD supports the strategy by creating actionable insight from the open data published through the Department for Transport’s Bus Open Data Service (BODS). In a typical month, the service monitors the performance of over 160 million stops made by over 20,000 buses. The platform is open to over 650 users at 230 organisations, comprising 140 bus operators, 90 local authorities, the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.
The platform shows granular, service-level and stop-level on-time performance, helping local authorities and operators to understand which routes have the most potential for improvement. Excess waiting time reporting shows the impact of irregular headways and cancellations on the passenger experience, helping areas outside of London transition to a “turn up and go” service model. Pinch point analyses along customisable corridors inform infrastructure changes, deployment of bus priority and town centre management.
ABOD’s automated, national-scale analytics is delivering insights at a scale never possible before. This digitally transformative service will be a key enabler to the National Bus Strategy aims.
“These extensions significantly further the ability of BODS to digitally transform the delivery of bus services and, ultimately, the passenger experience. They will help revolutionise the way in which the DfT, and other stakeholders, collect and analyse bus data, enabling us to identify network optimisations more easily and help us support operators in reporting their on-time performance statistics.”
Meera Nayyar, Head of Passenger Experience (Buses and Taxis) DfT