The Buses Minister is launching a consultation to legally require operators to share their data so passengers can get realtime information on routes, timetables and fares.
Nusrat Ghani’s consultation will also look at making companies provide audio and visual information on buses, ensuring disabled people and the elderly are able to travel confidently.
The Department for Transport says that, together, the two initiatives will ensure that passengers have the information they need, when they need it, regardless of their location and the company running the service.
“Nobody enjoys waiting at a bus stop for 20 minutes not knowing when the next bus is going to turn up, only for two to then pull up at the same time,” Ms Ghani says. “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.”
The DfT adds that requiring bus companies to share their data would pave the way for improved information across all modes of transport, meaning quicker, easier journeys for passengers travelling on more than one form of transport. It says transport data is already widely shared within the rail industry and across modes in the biggest cities, with apps such as Trainline and City Mapper helping passengers make informed choices about their method of travel.