Case studies 13 September

Arriva UK Bus: Real-time passenger information for Google Maps

The challenge

Arriva UK Bus, part of the DB group, is one of largest bus operators in the UK. The organisation has a strong track record of using data to improve customer experience and operational efficiency.

Following the successful launch of its customer-facing app, Arriva UK Bus wanted to make real-time passenger information more widely available to the travelling public, to increase confidence in using public transport and to boost patronage.

The solution

As an agency for Google Maps, the Ito World Transit Data team ensures that the public transport information displayed in the app matches the real-life experience of the traveller. Working closely with Arriva’s real-time data specialists, the team converted and integrated the operator’s data with Google’s existing public transport data sets, making sure that it was customised to the exacting standards required for use within the Google Journey Planner.

It was important for the work to be completed within a short timescale, in time for the launch of the new Google Maps service in June 2015.

The results

Arriva UK Bus became the first national operator to present their real-time passenger information within Google Maps in the UK. This includes updates every 30 seconds from Arriva’s fleet of 4,000 buses.

Real-time data integration is a complex task. Ito World became the first supplier the Arriva has worked with who has been able to algorithmically fix some of the data anomalies they encounter.


“At the outset, ourselves and our real-time supplier were concerned over the technical delivery challenges in bringing the real-time data from our 4,000 buses (excluding London) into Google Maps within a short timescale. Ito World were very professional, quickly gained the confidence of our supplier, and were highly responsive. Their technical capabilities are clearly second to none and the delivery ran very smoothly.” – Mike Woodhouse, Senior Marketing Manager for digital channels and customer relationship management, Arriva.

“We were excited to bring real-time information to all of our Google Maps users just in time for summer when people across the country rely on buses to get to and from their holiday destinations. We believe this gives our users more options and saves them more time.” – David Tattersall, Maps Product Manager for Google.