A

ATCOCode (Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers Code)

A unique identifier UK-wide for bus stops used in NaPTAN.

AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location)

Automatic Vehicle Location systems provide the GPS coordinates where a vehicle actually is.

B

BODS (Bus Open Data Service)

BODS provides bus timetable data for every local bus service in England. It emerged from the Bus Services Act 2017, which included improvements designed to make commercial bus services more accessible to passengers and is a Department for Transport led initiative to enable new applications, products and services for passengers. Commercial bus operators must add …

BSOG (Bus Service Operators Grant)

A grant paid to operators of eligible bus services and community transport organisations to help them recover some of their fuel costs. The amount each bus operator receives is based on their annual fuel consumption. BSOG also benefits passengers by: helping operators keep fares down enabling operators to run services that might otherwise be unprofitable and …

C

Commercial Service

A journey operated without financial assistance of any kind. Services of this kind are entirely dependent on its passengers to provide sufficient funds in the form of fares for it to sustain a profit. Some commercial services may be operated under contract to specific organisations with no financial benefit to speak of other than fare …

Contracted Service

A journey that is operated according to a contract between two or more organisations, at least one of whom is a bus service provider. Most contracts of this nature provide financial benefit to the operator, usually from a council, and are legally required to be put out to tender among interested parties; payments vary in …

E

ENCTS (English National Concessionary Travel Scheme)

A national scheme funded and run by the Department for Transport and administered by Local Authorities across England. The scheme provides all eligible elderly English residents, and eligible disabled people, with free off-peak bus travel on weekdays and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays. Within Greater London the scheme is linked to the Freedom …

Entitlement

A tickets ‘entitlement’ defines when and how it can be used. Fixed date tickets can be used many times during a valid date range i.e a school term pass. Fixed date ticket entitlement will be a date range. Flexible tickets are valid for use over a set time period e.g a day ticket which can …

ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)

ETA is often displayed on the screens on bus stops or train stations. It is a prediction of when a vehicle will arrive, based on where it is at that moment. It can also be used by a journey planner as an indication of when a traveller will arrive at a destination.

ETM (Electronic Ticketing Machine)

ETMs are machines with computer processors and memory which issue tickets for travel. ETMs are either designed for in-vehicle use, as fixed or handheld units, or for use at stations and other off-bus locations in the form of electronic kiosks.  In-vehicle fixed electronic ticket machines (ETM) are most commonly used on bus services, although they …

G

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 …

GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification)

A data specification that allows public transport operators to publish their transit data in a format that can be consumed by a wide variety of software applications. Today, the GTFS data format covers both static and real-time data and is used by thousands of public transport providers. You can learn more about the GTFS specification …

H

HOPS (Host Operator or Processing System)

The central system which holds information about everyone’s smart cards. HOPS automates many of the complex daily tasks of a smart transport ticketing scheme including transaction processing and asset management.

I

ISRN

The serial number encoded on a smart card but not known to a customer.

ITSO

ITSO are the guardian of the ITSO Specification, which aims to make travelling on public transport throughout the UK seamless and easier by enabling smart ticketing technology.  The ITSO community is a membership of public sector authorities, transport operators and equipment and solution suppliers to the smart ticketing industry, who use the ITSO Specification to …

L

Local Service / Local Bus Service Registration

A bus service that uses public service vehicles to carry passengers who pay separate fares over short distances – usually less than 15 miles from the point of boarding.  Operators of Local Bus Services must register their services with the Traffic Commissioner and provide copies of the registrations to the local authorities the services pass …

M

MCRN

Serial number printed on the front of a smart card.

N

NAP (National Access Points)

National Access Points facilitate access, easy exchange and reuse of transport-related data to help support the provision of EU-wide interoperable travel and traffic services to end-users. They can take various forms (database, data warehouse, data marketplace, repository, web portal etc) depending on the type of data concerned. List of National Access Points.

NaPTAN (National Public Transport Access Node)

The UK’s national dataset of public transport access points (bus stops, rail stations, airports, ferry piers, tram/metro/underground stops) is known as the NaPTAN database. It records approximately 400,000 bus stops across England, Scotland and Wales, as well as other transport terminals including rail stations and airports. NaPTAN consists of: A standard for identifying and naming …

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. A key part of the TNDS, its main purpose is to provide a single controlled list of (public service vehicle) operators and their public names. The NOC …

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 …

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 …

O

Open Data

Open data is data that has been made available to the public for personal, educational or commercial use. It is usually released under an open data license, such as the Open Government License Version 3.0. Many public transport operators release their data as open data. Certain datasets must be released to the public under UK …

P

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. …

PSP (Payment Service Provider)

Offers retailers online services for accepting electronic payments by a variety of methods including credit card, bank-based payments such as direct debit, bank transfer, and real-time bank transfer based on online banking.

PVR (Peak Vehicle Requirement)

The maximum number of buses required to keep a service (or groups of services where they share vehicles) operating correctly. This can usually be calculated through careful observation of the timetable; a service that runs every 15 minutes and takes 40 minutes from end-to-end would usually have a Peak Vehicle Requirement of six vehicles (with …

R

RTPI (Real Time Passenger Information)

Provides you with information about public transport services in ‘real time’. This allows you to see which services are due to arrive at stops and what time they are expected.

Running Number

A number used to identify the specific duty any one bus is following for a day, with variations across the country. Other names are sometimes applied, such as car number, carriage number, car run, diagram or duty. Running cards are allocated to vehicles to identify its service for the day and may or may not …

S

SIRI (Service Interface for Real Time Information)

In order to make real-time transport information compatible between different systems, several European countries joined efforts to create a standard protocol known as Service Interface for Real Time Information (SIRI). This protocol describes (at length!) how different systems can share real-time passenger information, allowing different suppliers, operators and local authorities to work together without costly …

SIRI-SM (Stop Monitoring)

A feed for the estimated time of arrival of a vehicle to a particular stop. SIRI-SM can also include further information about vehicles such as the vehicle’s location.

SIRI-VM (Vehicle Monitoring)

Providing a map with live tracking of vehicles is possible thanks to the SIRI-VM feed. SIRI -VM can also include further information about upcoming stops, such as the vehicle’s ETA.

T

Timing Point

A point on any bus service, usually but not always represented by a bus stop, at which buses are expected to arrive and/or depart at the time indicated. Notwithstanding exceptional circumstances such as roadworks, operators are required to ensure that 95% of services serve all timing points within the window of not more than one …

TNDS (Traveline National Dataset)

The Traveline National Dataset (TNDS) contains public transport timetables for bus, light rail, tram and ferry services in Great Britain. It does not include national rail or coach services. It is managed by Traveline Information Ltd (TIL) who work with local authorities to bring all public transport timetables into a single dataset. The dataset provides …

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 …

Traffic Commissioner

A Government official responsible for overseeing bus services throughout their respective regions. They have the power to summon and discipline bus service providers whom they deem to be providing an inadequate service, especially where services run unreasonably poorly and/or are changed without permission. In exceptional circumstances, they can withdraw operators^ licences to provide services.

Traveline

Traveline: A service funded by public transport companies across the country. Its aim is to provide comprehensive information on bus services on a regional basis, with some overlap between departments, to assist passengers in getting where they need to go, whilst also providing lesser information on other forms of public transport. Its information is relayed …

TXC (TransXChange)

The UK national standard for exchanging bus schedules and related data. It is used for: the electronic registration of bus routes the Traffic Area Network the exchange of bus routes with other computer systems such as journey planners and vehicle real-time tracking systems. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/transxchange

V

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

The Government agency responsible for dealing with certain kinds of commercial road-based operators, including bus service providers. Companies are required by Law to submit confirmed changes at least 56 days before said changes are implemented, although in special situations that can be relaxed.