Project: Bus Real-Time Information: Business Case

Reference: UG423I

Last update: 21/10/2004 15:37:22


Local authorities, bus operators, Department for Transport, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Executive are developing a national strategy for providing real time information on bus services in Great Britain. Delivery at local level will be through partnerships between local authorities and bus operators. Part of the strategy is to develop a business model that can be used to help bus operators and local authorities build a business case for their investment. This research will provide data to assist in the development of example business cases e.g. urban, inter-urban and rural routes/corridors.


The research will provide answers to a number of questions based on existing data, in order to enable a business case to be developed. The questions include:
- what will be the impacts on bus operation (regularity, reliability etc;
- what benefits will bus passengers perceive from the provision of an RTI system; - - what changes to behaviour will this induce;
- will it lead to more or less travel by bus - and if so how much;
- will the provision of RTI alter the perception of bus travel amongst non-users who are potential users;
- will it lead to changes in modal choice for some journeys - if so which journeys are most likely to switch and how many journeys might be gained;
- what else needs to be done to ensure that the benefits to passengers are delivered?

The research proposal has been developed in partnership with the real-time information group business case sub-group (DTLR, operators and LAs) and needs to begin as soon as practical. The results will feed into the 19 schemes being funded by SCA.


TRL Limited
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Contract details

Cost to the Department: £17,235.20

Actual start date: 29 July 2002

Actual completion date: 30 September 2003


Business Real Time Passenger Information Business Case
Author: TRL
Publication date: 01/09/2003
Source: Transport Direct Website
More information:

Summary of results

  1. The review of evidence revealed a considerable number of research reports and other sources of information relevant to this study.
    The report was initially commissioned to feed into the Transport Direct (TD) Supplementary Credit Approval (SCA) funding programme to implement bus Real time Information Systems (RTI) in 19 local authorities. It identified that "...robust quantitative investigations into the effects of implementation of a real time passenger information service are rare". Having identified a lack of quantitative evidence for a business case, TD commissioned a further report into the business benefits of providing bus RTI to passengers, using one of the 19 SCA funded schemes as a case study. Bus RTI is usually implemented as part of other bus service improvements eg introduction of newer, low floor buses and revised scheduling, making it difficult to assess the benefits of RTI in isolation. In Thanet, East Kent, the only improvement to the service was the introduction of RTI, which allowed the follow up study to provide a true picture of the benefits on introducing RTI alone. The hypothesis for the study were divided into 3 categories: Direct operational benefits, Improvements in perception and Management benefits. The first, post implementation study can be found on the TD background site on the research page.