NBS (National Bus Strategy)

In September 2019, the government set out how it would launch a revolution in bus services – delivering a better deal for bus users and committing to publishing a National Bus Strategy.

England’s first National Bus Strategy, called ‘Bus Back Better: national bus strategy for England’ was published in March 2021.

A PDF copy of the National Bus Strategy can be downloaded from the Department for Transport website.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a cloud provider hosts applications and makes them available to end-users over the internet.

This differs from more traditional models of accessing software, such as installing it onto a computer from a CD/DVD or download.

The software is usually accessed via a web browser or mobile app on desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

PSD2 (Payment Services Directive)

PSD2 is a European regulation for electronic payment services. It seeks to make payments more secure in Europe, boost innovation and help banking services adapt to new technologies.

App store

An online shop where apps can be found and downloaded to your mobile phone. The app store for Android devices is called the Play Store. The app store for Apple devices is actually called the ‘App Store’.

PBS (Public Bike Share)

Bike share can be broadly defined as any setting where bicycles are pooled for multiple users. Models include Public Bike Share (PBS) – self-service on-street docked or dockless stations – workplace pool bikes, train/bus station hubs, loans, lockers and peer to peer sharing.

PBS schemes often make their bike and bay/dock locations available as a public API. This means that other apps can display them in real time. These APIs usually follow the General Bikeshare Feed Specification standard, making it easier for software teams to consistently use this data. GBFS is loosely based on the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS).

The scheme operator is usually the technology provider as well as the provider of the transportation service.

Some notable providers in the UK are Beryl and nextbike.

NPTG (National Public Transport Gazetteer)

The NPTG is closely associated with the NaPTAN dataset and contains details of every city, town, village and suburb in Great Britain. This dataset is based on usage of names, rather than legal definitions and so includes local informal names for places as well as their official names.

As a topographic database of towns and settlements, it provides a common frame of reference for the National Public Transport Access Nodes (NaPTAN).

NextBuses API

An open API from Traveline. The API allows users to access live departure information by stop across Great Britain. Real-time information is provided where it is available and scheduled departures where not.

The API is based on the SIRI standard, using the SIRI-SM function through a request/response communication mechanism. SIRI is an XML protocol that allows the exchange of real-time information about public transport services and vehicles.

National Operator Code dataset (NOC)

The National Operator Code dataset (NOC) contains unique national operator codes that link to the local operator codes in the Traveline National Data Set (TNDS) and NextBuses API. NOC’s are primarily required for BODS and used for Passenger’s TXC and SIRI feeds. The NOC is also used to convert local regional operator codes that might exist in exports from the Traveline regions to TNDS, or in real-time feeds to the NextBuses API, to a single universal operator identity and associated code.

To look up a National Operator Code you can search the NOC database, hosted by Traveline.

GBFS (General Bikeshare Feed Specification)

The open data standard for bikeshare. GBFS makes real-time data feeds in a uniform format publicly available online, with an emphasis on findability.

Under the North American Bikeshare Association’s leadership, GBFS has been developed by public, private sector and non-profit bike share system owners and operators, application developers, and technology vendors.

GBFS is intended as a specification for real-time, read-only data – any data being written back into individual bikeshare systems are excluded from this spec.

TOTO (Tap On, Tap Off) contactless

Tap On, Tap Off is one of several names given to the type of contactless payment method that allows you to simply “tap” your contactless payment card (or device) onto a reader at the start of your journey and “tap” again on a reader when you complete your journey. What you are charged for the journey is calculated later and then automatically from your account. Often this charge will be capped at a maximum amount if enough journeys are taken within a specific period of time, e.g. 24 hours.