In all of the above the authorities and regions could opt to obtain software and maintain their own data. Instead they pay someone to do some or all of it.
TransXchange data standards provide increasing opportunities for data brokerage to offer additional services to bus operators and local authorities. Brokers can potentially assist bus operators to maintain their electronic timetables, possibly creating electronic versions of them or alternatively doing the scheduling and analysing the performance of the networks. They can arrange for electronic copies to be sent to real time systems, the local authority, and a copy to the Traffic Commissioner. These are activities that many bus operators do not engage in at the moment.
By working to strict data standards the broker can ensure that the operators intentions are correctly reflected in the registration system, in traveline and in real time systems. The data broker will be in a good position to monitor changes to NaPTAN resources and can bring to the attention of the bus operator any changes that would require timetable data to be alterred. They may also act on behalf of the operator to bring to the attention of the local authority new stops and adjustments that are necessary. Real time data requires data to be alterred frequently to take account of changes to vehicle workings that are not registered particulars. If the bus operator makes a change to the timetable that requires a variation to the registration, the broker's systems will be able to spot this and advise the bus operator. In this way the bus operator can be assured that their data is up to date and accurate.
In the local authorities external data brokerage may be linked to e-tendering. Many timetables are designed by local authorities as they procure bus services that no operator wishes to provide commercially. As these are sent out in the invitations to tender and confirmed by the award of tenders, the attachment of a TransXchange document to the e-tender helps ensure that the timetable is consistently described. Norfolk County Council do this.
The North West Data Group tools enable Local Authorities in North West England to log into a system to identify any errors in their data.
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© Traveline 2013, Last updated: 8 April 2013