Bus open data policy

The Bus Open Data Service (BODS) provides bus timetable, vehicle location and fares data for every local bus service in England.

Access the Bus Open Data Service to:

The Department for Transport (DfT) wants to make it easier to travel by bus wherever you are in England.

We’re making details of bus services available as open data, as required by the Public Service Vehicle Open Data England Regulations. The scope of the open data encompasses:

  • timetable data
  • fares data
  • vehicle location (real-time) data
  • historic performance (punctuality) data.

This will enable passengers to:

  • plan their journeys with confidence
  • spend less time waiting
  • find the best value tickets

What we’ve done

To improve bus journeys for everybody we’ve:

  • required bus operators to provide open, accurate and up-to-date data (timetable, fares and vehicle location (real-time) data)
  • ensured all local bus services across England (outside London) are in scope (and cross-border services too for the English leg of the journey or those coming into or outside of London)
  • the public service vehicle open data regulations will enable enforcement and compliance of the requirements

What we’ll do

  • continue to work with bus operators and local transport authorities to publish their data
  • work with data consumers to transition in using the BODS

Why we’re doing this?

Buses have significant social, economic, and environmental benefits. But bus usage has been falling for several years, especially outside London. According to the Bus Passenger Survey (carried out by Transport Focus) one important reason for this is the lack of journey planning information.

DfT wants to see more people taking the bus, and wants those who do take it to have the best possible experience. We believe that knowing when the bus will arrive will reduce passenger frustration, and save passengers time.

Traveline currently provides an excellent service around some elements of bus data, but BODS will soon add extra dimensions - fares, tickets, and vehicle location.

Publishing your data

BODS is ready for bus operators to begin publishing their timetables, location and fares data. If you need help to publish your data, please contact the BODS help-desk at

Details about how to publish your data can be found on GOV.UK.

Bus open data regulations

The Public Service Vehicles (Open Data) (England) Regulations were made in July 2020 and set out the statutory deadlines for bus operators to legally publish their data.

Date Event
31 December 2020 Obligation to provide bus timetable data to the Bus Open Data Service.
7 January 2021 Obligation to provide vehicle location and basic fares and tickets data to the Bus Open Data Service.
7 January 2023 Obligation to provide complex fares and ticket data to the Bus Open Data Service.

Basic fares and tickets refers to the most common ticket types, such as single, return, and weekly passes.

Complex fares and tickets refers to more complicated ticket structures such as multi-operator passes. A full list of what is included in the definitions can be found on the NeTEx website (PDF 4MB).

Data standards

Our data standards define how we carry out data processing and business activities. They ensure that BODS adopts a consistent, rule-based approach to data management and that our activities comply with 2017 Bus Services Act. BODS data standards are to support the bus industry to exchange information between publishers and consumers in a consistent manner, understood by all.

Bus timetable and Automatic Vehicle Locations (AVL) standards

Data publishers and technology suppliers must use for:

Fares and ticketing:

Data publishers and technology suppliers must use the NeTEX standard when generating fares and ticketing exchange information for this service.

Keep in touch

Follow us on Twitter @busopendata

We’re always pleased to hear stories from operators and local authorities across the country about how you’re offering high-quality digital passenger information. Share your stories using the hashtag #BusOpenData.

If you need support in publishing or consuming data please contact us at

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Published 28 January 2020
Last updated 25 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. The collection page has been updated to reflect changes to the Bus Open Data Service.

  2. Added Technical guidance: publishing location data using the Bus Open Data Service (SIRI-VM) to this collection.

  3. First published.