Transit Open Data Hub

Overview

As part of their digital transformation strategies, governments are moving towards the open availability of transit data. Their initial goal is to make passenger information easily available to encourage transit ridership and support innovations, such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

As governments work to decarbonise transportation, new tools are needed to accelerate the implementation of policy to improve transit services, travel options and increase ridership.

When combined with analytics, open datasets with good quality data can be used by governments to support data-driven policy. This includes policy formulation, implementation monitoring, and measuring the outcomes.

National transit policies are often implemented at the local level. Digital transformation could be accelerated across the industry by offering local governments and transit agencies free data analytics tools, creating an equal playing field with the same access to advanced insights.

Governments can define the metrics by which the outcomes are measured. When all stakeholders rely on the same tools and metrics, and underlying data, an industry-wide approach to policy implementation becomes more efficient and consistent. 

These capabilities are already transforming public transport at national scale in the UK and can be configured to support a range of national, regional and city-level use cases. National governments can take advantage of Ito’s blueprint for a fully integrated transit model.

UK Department for Transport Bus Open Data Service (BODS)

In a world first, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has developed a national open data portal offering a fully integrated dataset that now covers bus, coach and tram services in England. Ito is the technical and data implementation partner for the programme. 

Bus, coach and tram agencies in England upload their timetables, fares and live vehicle locations to the platform. All BODS data conforms to specified standards to ensure consistency. The BODS service has built-in validation to prevent the publication of non-compliant data, while quality checks notify operators of potential inaccuracies. The platform automatically combines datasets from different agencies and matches timetable data to the real-time vehicle location data using sophisticated algorithms.

This enables the publication of a consistent, comprehensive and easy-to-use national dataset from a single, open-source, open-access platform. All data is available for download in bulk download or via an API, and it can be exported in various industry-standard data formats, including the developer-friendly GTFS format.

Data from BODS is already used by major journey planners, Mobility as a Service programmes, as well as by local and regional transit authorities for their real-time passenger information systems.

As the service matures, it has the potential to transform easy access to high quality, open data that covers all transit services (except heavy rail) in England.

Key stats

300+

Operators’ timetable
and fares data

18,000+

Buses’ live location data,
updated every 5-30 seconds
“Ito worked with DfT and KPMG to understand and create a future vision for the transport industry and how digital transformation would change the landscape. It was then Ito who took that vision, unpicked the complexity and made it a technical reality. We couldn’t have selected a better technical delivery partner for the programme.”
Meera Nayyar
Head of Open Data, Department for Transport

Analyse Bus Open Data (ABOD)

One of the key users of the BODS dataset is the Analyse Bus Open Data service. The ABOD extension to BODS, which is based on Ito’s analytics platform, delivers powerful insights to government, national regulators, city and regional transport authorities and transit agencies. By providing local authorities with tools to analyse and optimise their network, the DfT aims to accelerate digital transformation industry-wide to support data-driven policy.

ABOD tracks and reports metrics aligned to DfT policy outcomes like the National Bus Strategy, Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIPs) and Enhanced Bus Partnerships, that aim to improve bus services, encourage ridership, and improve collaboration between local agencies and authorities. These include punctuality, journey time reliability, accessibility and emissions. Access to the same data, insights and performance metrics for all stakeholders means faster implementation and more precise outcome measurement.

The Ito Transit Data Portal and Transit Analytics are versatile, mode-agnostic, and virtually unlimited in scope and scale.