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UK government readies bus open data portal

The government’s bus data service is part of plans to provide better information to get more people to use bus services

The UK government is developing a new bus open data portal as part of a £220m package supporting the country’s first long-term bus strategy and funding settlement.

The portal will contain information on bus services for use by app developers. According to the Department for Transport (DfT), “significant progress” has been made and the intention is that fares and location data will be available online from January 2021.

According to the DfT, passengers want better information on services and the government can only expect them to use buses more often if they know when and where they go and how much they cost. Bus information needs to be better and more consistent in terms of what’s available, it added.

Under the open data initiative, the department expects to work with technology firms, app developers and information providers to introduce a range of innovative offerings to potential and existing bus users.

The project will also involve local authorities, operators and passengers to define what data should be available, such as timetables and maps, to enable those who don’t use mobile apps can also get bus information.

At the annual Conservative party conference, which is taking place this week in Manchester, chancellor Sajid Javid will share details of the party’s Infrastructure Revolution ambitions, which will involve an overall £25bn delivery plan, which will also fund improvements to the UK’s road and bus networks.

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