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Bus operator requirements

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Bus location data

Bus location data is also known as Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) and gives information about the bus location at that point in time. All data feeds published must be in the SIRI-VM Version 2.0 or 2.0Q format.

What is SIRI-VM?

The Service Interface for Real Time Information (SIRI) specifies a European interface standard for exchanging information about the planned, current or projected performance of real-time public transport operations between different computer systems.

SIRI-VM is specifically the vehicle monitoring service, which allows for the exchange of real-time positions of public transport vehicles.

The service is designed to exchange vehicle monitoring information between control systems, and to distribute to journey planners, alert systems and displays that they would be able to process and match real-time positions based on structured elements. More information can be found at:

How can I produce SIRI-VM?

Operators with electronic ticket machine (ETM), location system or real time supplier should contact them to discuss their ability to provide a feed that aligns with the Department for Transport SIRI-VM Profile.

Operators without ETM suppliers should contact their Local Transport Authority to discuss solutions, such as hardware lease agreements, and guidance they can offer.

Crowdedness data

Information about the crowdedness of public transport options has become a key metric in passengers and their modal decisions. Passengers need to be able to assess their safety, both temporally and spatially. They need to know what time of day, and which journey option is the safest. By providing clear data on crowdedness, operators can enable themselves to balance safety and capacity, and enable potential passengers to modal shift safely towards local bus options. Operators are expected to include this information to ensure the safety of passengers.

The fields required in SIRI-VM, and the Department for Transport SIRI VM Profile, for crowdedness data are:

  • Monitored Vehicle Journey - Progress Info - Occupancy
  • Monitored Vehicle Journey - Departure Boarding Activity (to be used to set to No Boarding if vehicle is full)

The Department for Transport SIRI VM Profile

The requirement for operators of local bus services across England to openly publish their location data feeds to the Bus Open Data Service comes into effect from 07 January 2021.

The table below gives an overview of the mandatory and optional elements included in the profile.

Mandatory Optional
Bearing Departure Boarding Activity
BlockRef DestinationAimedArrivalTime
DestinationRef DestinationName
DirectionRef ItemIdentifier
LineRef MonitoredCall (Departure Boarding Activity)
MonitoredVehicleJourney Occupancy
OperatorRef OriginAimedDepartureTime
OriginName VehicleActivity
OriginRef Velocity
VehicleLocation (Logitude, Latitude)
VehicleMonitoringDelivery (Vehicle Activity)
Previous Timetables data
Next Fares data