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Bus operator requirements

What you need to know to get started. Find guidance and support material tailored to your needs.


Publishing data

Operators are expected to have the people, processes and technology needed to maintain timely, complete and accurate information to the Bus Open Data Service. Operators, and those publishing as agents on behalf of operators, should have all their data published and be able to maintain it, prior to the requirement date; allowing business processes to be tested and established prior to the requirement.

Data required Data format required Requirement date Obligation
Timetable TransXChange Version 2.4 31st December 2020 Operator
Bus location SIRI-VM Version 2.0 7th January 2021 Operator
Basic fares UK NeTEx 1.10 7th January 2021 Operator
Complex fares UK NeTEx 1.10 7th January 2023 Operator
Stop data Naptan 31st December 2020 Local Transport Authority

Maintaining data

Operators are expected to have timely, complete and accurate information published to the service at all times. The most effective method in organising this for timetables and fares data is to maintain the URL endpoints published, which will be cached to the service daily around 6:00am. The number of data sets published is at the discretion of the operator. Many operators are choosing to have a single data set, with a single URL endpoint hosting the data. Others are choosing to have a data set per operating company, certain regions, lines or the underlying scheduler.

Data set naming

The service will automatically name data provided, using an internal naming convention, not the original file name. The unique identifier for each individual data set is given by the data set ID or data feed ID.

Publishing timetables and fares data

Most operators must host their own timetables and fares data and publish it by providing a URL link to the data. Operators who run fewer than forty services who may choose to upload their data on BODS. Multiple files will only be accepted if uploaded in a ZIP file. For trail purposes files may be uploaded by larger operators.

Providing a URL link

Bus operators should provide a URL link to their hosted data. The data exposed through this link should be data that the operator wishes to be published. Publishers are expected to maintain their end point and remove expired data.

Data for timetables will be updated in the cache for data consumer from a URL daily, around 6:00 UCT.

Uploading a file

Small operators may choose to upload a single XML file or zip containing multiple XML files. Please update data as it expires to ensure there is a valid data set published on the service.

Publishing bus location data

Providing a feed

Automatic vehicle location data will need to be provided using a SIRI-VM data feed that can be provided by real time/ETM suppliers.

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