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STREAMLINING BUS SERVICE DATA THROUGHOUT WALES

Omnibus has just completed one of its biggest projects yet. In partnership with PTI Cymru, Omnibus’s team of developers has streamlined the processing and management of timetable and mapping data for all bus services in Wales.

Working in partnership with SilverRail and Spindogs, Omnibus was brought in to facilitate the seamless integration of the various data sources to make the resulting Traveline Cymru passenger information user-friendly, consistent and up to date.

The aim of the ambitious project was, according to Graham Walter, Managing Director for Traveline Cymru, “to develop a more flexible and agile means of providing valuable travel information to our passengers and one that is tailored to our needs.” He continues: “It was important for the solution to be flexible, provide value for money and an excellent level of support. The solution we have provides all of that and also keeps us ahead of future developments.”

The new website and journey planner bring together accurate data on around 5,800 timetables covering 1,370 bus services on a network of over 26,000 bus stops. It incorporates data on around 80 bus, coach and rail operators and 22 Local Authorities, covering the whole of Wales.

The Omnibus work enables Traveline Cymru to output consistent data across four channels: a new journey planner, a new national data set, matrix timetables and downloadable timetables in PDF format.

A considerable amount of additional development work was conducted by Omnibus for the new journey planner, which is supplied by SilverRail and fed using the Omnibus TransXChange 2.4 module.

The UK Traveline National Data Set is also fed using TransXChange (2.1). This provides the “Open Data” to power the national journey planner, a multitude of third party smartphone apps and transport data on Google Maps.

The Omnibus OmniWEB product was used to power the online display of matrix timetables and OmniEXPORT powers the function allowing pre-formatted PDF timetables to be downloaded, both via the Traveline Cymru website.

As a result of the development work carried out by Omnibus, the new system also allows Traveline Cymru to link every service to the appropriate fare tables as supplied by all of the operators, allowing the journey planner to offer fare options for each suggested journey.

Omnibus also created an automated process that takes a snapshot of the complete data set and creates all the data exports from it. This ensures that the data is consistent and provides a full backup of every exported data set. The process can be initiated manually or configured to run automatically every night, ensuring that the information available to the public is always up to date.

Graham Walter found working with Omnibus

‘very refreshing’

and says that every member of the team at all levels was friendly and professional. He explains: “The team at Omnibus has a ‘can-do’ approach and a willingness to listen. The company’s ability to work with other partners on this project was a key element of its success. I couldn’t be happier to be working with a company that reflects our own key values of being customer focussed.”
Peter Crichton, Managing Director of Omnibus, comments: “This project required a significant amount of development work and is the latest example of how Omnibus can work with partners to produce practical solutions to meet the client’s requirements. Because of our blend of ‘bus people’, with many years of experience in the industry, coupled with IT professionals, our solutions are always better focussed to meet clients’ needs.”