</BWS - Integrated bus data management tools>

>An integrated online bus timetable & service management tool

>The puzzle

A Welsh Local Authority, working with Transport for Wales, wanted to improve the consistency and accuracy of public transport service data by providing all bus operators with access to an integrated online timetable and service management tool.

They needed the capability to report back on school transport service utilization across all vehicles that carried pupils. The challenge was several transport providers and data sources were involved so whatever we created had to talk to all of them.

Although the emphasis was on delivering a service to smaller bus operators in the rural county, the system had to support established large operators who already had their own in-house service management systems.

>Our approach

It was imperative that we took a data-centric approach on how the bus service data could be presented and manipulated by the user(s).

It was a complex stakeholder environment, with various standards and methods of updating, communicating, sharing, and submitting data.

We had to support a degree of diversity in our approach that would produce a consistent and compliant TXC file output (a universal file format for transport information). This would mean that the data could be exported and used by other third-party digital timetabling systems.

At the project outset we used user interviews to identify requirements, these also revealed the intricacies of updating different external datasets including NAPTAN and NOC/TNDS, particularly where services crossed county or national boundaries.

>The Solution

We produced an integrated public transport service data repository, meaning bus operators could create and manage services online via a map-centric, browser-based system; that could produce PTI compliant TXC service outputs and accompanying information, so that these could be submitted to and used by the UK Traffic Commissioner and Traveline.

In nine months and with a team of four, Kodergarten:

  • Designed, built, and deployed a map-based timetable management system that operators could access securely via their browser
  • Deployed a comprehensive PTI profile compliance tool for users to ensure that the service data they wanted to submit was correct
  • Provided the integration into existing national datasets such as TNDS, NAPTAN and NOC to ensure that the system users had access to current data
  • Delivered proof of concept SIRI VM to SM service that could be accessed by external developers for use on websites or information displays
  • Deployed onto AWS (Dev, Pre-production, and Production environments)
  • Suitable for use across all vehicles using generic Samsung devices

>Impact

In lay terms. It means that the county can now offer consolidated up to date timetable and service information, via a universally recognized file format, which can be shared with third party platforms.

It also offers analytics re: service utilization which means that the transport authority can consider its timetabling and whether to merge services or put on extra ones, based on the demand. As the data is presented in a map-centric format it is easy for route planners to consider how bus routes could be linked or changed, to provide a more efficient service.

This system has successful in its launch county. It is fully scalable to be able to be used by bus operators far and wide.