Author: Gurby Griffiths

Quarterly bus statistics for April to June 2022

Quarterly bus statistics for April to June 2022

13 October 2022 – Quarterly bus figures showing local bus passenger journeys and fares statistics in Great Britain for April to June 2022, have been published on the DfT website.

For the year ending June 2022, the number of local bus passenger journeys in:

  • England was 3.09 billion, a 55% increase
  • London increased by 51%
  • England outside London increased by 59%
Quarterly bus statistics for April to June 2022

Comparing local bus passenger journeys for April to June 2022 to the same period in 2021, we see:

  • a 36% increase in England
  • London increased by 36%
  • England outside London increased by 36%
  • Scotland increased by 44%
  • Wales increased by 32%

The local bus fares index increased by 4.2% in England between June 2021 and June 2022.

For other areas, the local bus fares index change was:

  • 5.9% increase in London
  • 1.1% increase in metropolitan areas
  • 4.2% increase in non-metropolitan areas
  • 1.3% in Scotland
  • no change in Wales

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 4.1% over the same 12-month period.

This publication covers April to June 2022, but makes reference to previous quarters during which there were some restrictions due to coronavirus (Covid-19) in Great Britain.

Read the full document: Quarterly bus statistics: April to June 2022

Compass Travel selects Omnibus cloud-based scheduling and depot allocation solutions

Compass Travel cloud-based scheduling and depot allocation

12 October 2022 – Compass Travel (Sussex) Ltd, the largest independent bus operator in the South East, has selected a package of Omnibus software solutions to improve operational efficiency, including cloud-based scheduling and depot allocation.

The cloud solutions will provide the Worthing-based operator with seamless collaboration on schedules, real-time driver and vehicle management for faster handling of disruption events whilst minimising costs, and enhanced reporting capabilities to improve service quality.

Compass Travel cloud-based scheduling and depot allocation

Michael Bishop, General Manager at Compass Travel

Michael Bishop, General Manager at Compass Travel, said: “Having considered other options, Omnibus software solutions offered the most comprehensive and flexible capabilities to support our operation. Since the acquisition of Omnibus by EPM Group and ongoing investment, there is a great choice of solutions and synergy between the two companies to drive innovation, collaboration, agility and efficiencies.”

Compass will migrate its existing Omnibus software (timetabling, vehicle scheduling and rostering) to the cloud scheduling platform and introduce OmniMAP, a digital mapping solution developed specifically for bus operators and transport authorities.

To reduce the administrative burden on allocators, the operator will digitalise manual allocations processes by adopting OmniDAS, a cloud-native real-time depot allocation system. OmniDAS provides users with more control to efficiently allocate and manage resources, produce timesheet and payroll information, and automate sign-on.

Linked to OmniDAS, Compass will implement driver app OmniENGAGE to automate driver requests and enquiries and streamline communication between allocators and drivers. It will also adopt data sharing solution BODS Exporter to ensure that compliant transport data is submitted downstream.

Michael, who also sits on ALBUM’s (The Association of Local Bus Company Managers) board of directors, said: “Having shared values, we are proud to extend our partnership with Omnibus. Its solutions are built on a deep appreciation for passenger transport operators of all sizes.

“Moving our existing scheduling software to the cloud and implementing new solutions will help us work efficiently and provide unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability across the business.

“With OmniDAS, our allocators will gain capability to work holistically across our Lewes, Worthing and Dunsfold depots and report on them individually and as a collective. The driver app will support staff retention by improving communication with drivers and providing them with an easier way to submit holiday requests, shift swaps and overtime requests.”

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “Omnibus is delighted to further expand its relationship with Compass Travel in offering cloud-based scheduling and depot allocation along with a data sharing solution.

“Operators need to be agile to react to the changes in passenger demand and require a deep understanding of the data relating to their operation in order to achieve their business goals. With our in-depth knowledge of the industry and proven ability to provide robust solutions, Omnibus is well positioned to support operators with their challenges.”

-END-

Omnibus Solutions: www.omnibus.solutions

Press contact at Omnibus Solutions, part of EPM Group

Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Driver communication – Are holiday requests creating a time drain for your drivers?

Driver communication

At a time when driver recruitment and retention are the biggest challenges across the transport sector, bus operators should consider how they can make their organisation a place where people want to work.

One such area is the process for managing driver holiday requests.  

Driver communication

It can be quite frustrating for a driver, who at the end of their working day, needs to speak to someone about a holiday request, only to find that person is unavailable or busy seeing to other drivers. The driver can have a clear and easy way of requesting leave that does not affect their own time, such as a driver app which can be used remotely and independently when convenient. 

Other options that make managing the driver’s work-life balance easier can also be available. For instance, it can be easy to swap a shift for a more suitable start or finish time or know where they might be at a given time on a given date in the future. Having easy access to duties weeks in advance and the content of those duties empowers your drivers with better management of their own time. 

The benefits go beyond the time saved discussing leave or swaps with the person responsible for driver allocation; the quality of information is vastly improved, and it differentiates your organisation to current and potential employees. 

Drivers who want to volunteer for overtime can also be accommodated. They do not have to scan the noticeboard after each shift or burden the allocator; they too can request overtime at their convenience or even just let the allocator know they are available.  

If a driver can do all this at any time, it adds an element of fairness. The driver does not miss an opportunity to request holiday just because they could not get into the office and the overtime does not always go to the person who is in the canteen at the right time. If overtime is available through a driver app, it is available to all your drivers at the same time in the same place. 

Driver requests are a time drain and fraught with inaccuracies when done manually. By leveraging technology, you can make the process a positive experience where staff are encouraged to take the appropriate leave and come back recharged, refocused and recuperated. 

Drivers need support to help manage their home life around varying shift patterns and you need an efficient and fair process which makes the depot allocator’s life easier, whilst improving the level of control and accuracy of information.

Coming soon – In part 2 of our series on driver communication, we consider how you can ensure your staff are kept in the loop about operational and business decisions. 

How we can help

Part of the EPM Group, Omnibus has over 30 years’ experience in software and consultancy services and has comprehensive knowledge of the passenger transport industry and well-established software solutions to meet your challenges.  

Our driver app OmniENGAGE enables operators to stay connected with drivers whilst reducing administration to your operations team remain focussed on service provision. 

To book a free consultation to see how we can assist with your challenges and requirements, complete the online form or call 0161 683 3100.

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

Transdev Blazefield adopts Omnibus cloud depot allocation after success at Team Pennine

Transdev Blazefield bus, cloud depot allocation

23 September 2022 – Transdev Blazefield is rolling out Omnibus’ cloud-native depot allocation solution to its bus operations in the north of England after successfully using the software at Team Pennine. 

OmniDAS, a complete depot allocation system for real-time driver and vehicle management, will support the group to increase flexibility and efficiency of multi-depot working and reduce operational costs.

Transdev Blazefield bus, cloud depot allocation

Vitto Pizzuti, Transdev Operations DirectorVitto Pizzuti, Operations Director at Transdev Blazefield, said: “We needed visibility of all depots individually and collectively to improve efficiency and manage resourcing issues such as driver shortages.  

“Cloud-native OmniDAS will provide the flexibility to analyse and drill down into the data of all depots, giving full transparency of all our driver and vehicle resources across the entire operation and comply with legal requirements as well as company policies and procedures.

“Also, working from one centralised system ensures consistent processes and data integrity.” 

Part of Transdev’s UK business, Transdev Blazefield is based in Harrogate and has 9 subsidiaries operating from 10 centres. They include: Coastliner (Malton & York), York & Country (York) and The Harrogate Bus Company (Harrogate) in North Yorkshire; Flyer (Bradford), The Keighley Bus Company (Keighley) and Team Pennine (Halifax and Huddersfield) in West Yorkshire; and The Burnley Bus Company (Burnley), Rosso (Rochdale, Burnley & Blackburn) and The Blackburn Bus Company (Blackburn) in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.   

OmniDAS cloud is due to be rolled out at Harrogate with implementation at other depots to follow. The decision to upgrade from the legacy product comes after the successful implementation of OmniDAS cloud at the group’s newest subsidiary, Team Pennine, which was using a competitor’s product prior to the acquisition in July 2021. 

Vitto said: “Proven in operation at Team Pennine, OmniDAS brings the established functionality of the legacy system with enhanced reporting capabilities and can be accessed from anywhere.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Transdev Blazefield. OmniDAS will allow Transdev to spend more time on service provision without having to worry about time-consuming administration.”

– ENDS –

Omnibus Solutions: www.omnibus.solutions

Press contact at Omnibus Solutions, part of EPM Group

Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

Optimising control room and engineering communication to improve operational efficiency

Optimising control room and engineering communication to improve operational efficiency

Bus operators have invested in multiple control room software systems from depot allocation to incident management in order to run a smooth operation.

To maintain operational efficiency, they need to work in harmony as often an action or data point in one system has an impact in another.

Optimising control room and engineering communication to improve operational efficiency

But without integration this can lead to double entry of data, which is an inefficient use of time and can lead to inaccurate data. Also, the team can make poor service decisions if all the relevant information is not easily accessible to them.

Improve communication

Control room teams and engineers rely on each other for information. The engineer needs to know when a vehicle has broken down, what to expect when attending or dealing with a breakdown and if a driver has reported a vehicle fault. In most instances, the engineer only discovers a vehicle problem when they receive a message from the operations team, and this does not always include all the key information they require to efficiently deal with the problem. 

The depot controller needs support from the engineering team to keep the service running by providing the required vehicles. They need to know when a vehicle is available after being worked on by the engineering team. The receipt of this information can be slow, and this results in a delayed resolution to a time-critical problem. 

Communication between controllers and engineers can be poor or slow due to several reasons. The control room and engineers are often based in different parts of the site and can be completely remote from each other. But more importantly, both functions use different software tools, so email and phone calls are the current means of communicating and sharing data. 

What is the solution?

An operator’s engineering teams use a range of software solutions and providers to manage vehicle maintenance, inventory and costs. Integrating these third-party solutions with your vehicle allocation and incident management systems can improve operational efficiency by automating data flows. 

For the engineer, this means that when the depot controller records a vehicle defect, the data is automatically populated in the system with the relevant incident categorisation against the correct vehicle. Time is saved as there is no need to enter the data manually; the system is updated automatically as soon as the driver reports the incident to the operations team. 

For the depot controller this means that when a vehicle is taken off the road for maintenance it is automatically marked as not available for allocation. Similarly, when it is released by the engineering team using their software system, the vehicle immediately appears as available in the depot allocation system. The controller does not waste time chasing the engineer on the vehicle’s status. 

The controller can also supply details of vehicle incidents, with details of the bus and any defects, straight to the engineering team. This saves valuable time as there is no need to rewrite the information in an email or relay it over the phone. Furthermore, the controller does not need to then mark a vehicle as unavailable in the allocation system because that is updated automatically as soon as the engineer takes it off the road. A double timesaving for the operator! 

How we can help

With over 30 years’ experience in software and consultancy services, EPM Group has comprehensive knowledge of the passenger transport industry and well-established software solutions. 

We offer an end-to-end solution. For engineers and depot controllers, we can integrate with engineering software solutions to improve your operational efficiency by automating communication and data transfer. As soon as an incident occurs, it can be logged through the Bus Incident Reporting Screen (BIRS) in the EPM Traffic system and reported to engineering. Engineering can quickly process the issue and make the vehicle unavailable, and this is then automatically updated in OmniDAS. 

To book a free consultation to see how we can assist with your challenges and requirements, complete the online form or call 0161 683 3100. 

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Transdev Blazefield revolutionises Team Pennine with Omnibus cloud-native depot allocation system

Team Pennine bus

20 July 2022 – Transdev Blazefield is using Omnibus to revolutionise operations at its subsidiary Team Pennine – and streamline work processes and collaborative working across locations. 

The operator bought the former Yorkshire Tiger business from Arriva in July 2021 and took the decision to move the team onto OmniDAS, the new cloud-native complete depot allocation system. 

Team Pennine bus

Since implementation, the solution has transformed forward and on-the-day planning at Team Pennine’s operations in Halifax and Huddersfield, both in West Yorkshire. 

Vitto Pizzuti, Transdev Operations DirectorVitto Pizzuti, Operations Director at Transdev Blazefield, which serves Lancashire, North & West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, said: “This is a significant milestone for Team Pennine and Transdev. As a group we are proud to deliver a quality and reliable service for our customers and to do this we need the best tools for our team to do their jobs. 

“We are excited to be the first to adopt cloud-native OmniDAS. The solution has revolutionised Team Pennine, giving the team the capability to manage its pool of 120 drivers from a single platform.  

“This enhanced collaboration between Team Pennine operations will streamline work processes, giving our depot controllers the time to focus on more important tasks. This increase in operational efficiency will also significantly reduce the risk of errors within the business.” 

Vitto added: “The Omnibus team has the expertise and a thorough understanding of the UK bus market to deliver solutions which confidently meet operator requirements.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “Decades of experience and industry knowledge go into the development and enhancement of our solutions. As a result, we offer unmatched capability and flexibility for improving efficiency, reducing costs and mitigating risk.  

“We’re delighted OmniDAS has improved efficiency at Team Pennine and look forward to continuing our trusted partnership with Transdev Blazefield.” 

– ENDS –

Omnibus Solutions: www.omnibus.solutions

Press contact at Omnibus Solutions, part of EPM Group

Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

£130 million to protect bus services across the country

Passenger on bus. Bus service funding

19 August 2022 – Buses across England will benefit from up to £130 million of government support, ensuring services keep running and millions of passengers can continue using affordable transport.

The funding package announced today will cover 6 months from October 2022 to March 2023, and builds on almost 2 years’ worth of unprecedented government support to keep bus networks running.

Passenger on bus. Bus service funding

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “This funding will ensure millions across the country can continue to use vital bus services, and brings the total we’ve provided to the sector throughout the pandemic to almost £2 billion.”

The government is also investing £3 billion in bus services by 2025, including over £1 billion to improve fares, services and infrastructure, and a further £525 million for zero emission buses.

Tanat Valley Coaches selects Omnibus depot allocation solution to gain operational efficiencies

Tanat Valley Coaches selects Omnibus depot allocation solution

29 July 2022 – Family-owned Tanat Valley Coaches, on the Shropshire-Welsh border, has chosen the Omnibus cloud-native depot allocation software solution to improve operational efficiency and support business growth. 

The investment in OmniDAS comes following the operator’s acquisition of bus services in and around Oswestry town centre in September 2021, previously operated by Arriva. 

Tanat Valley Coaches selects Omnibus depot allocation solution

Founded in 1921, Tanat Valley Coaches provides public bus services and school transport across a vast area of Mid Wales and Shropshire and has a fleet of 40 vehicles. The operator also offers excursions, tours and private hires, and works closely with Shrewsbury Town Football Club, ferrying their fans to and from home games, and helping supporters to attend matches further afield. 

Chris Chadd, Managing Director of Tanat Valley Coaches, said: “To ensure our bus services are delivered efficiently, we needed a complete depot allocation system which streamlined work processes from allocating resources through to performance reporting. 

“OmniDAS completely meets our needs, being cloud-based and scalable whilst providing operational control of drivers’ hours, wage payment feeds into SAGE and a reduction of current administrative processes.” 

OmniDAS provides transport operators with the capability to deliver services safely and legally whilst minimising costs and providing real-time driver and vehicle management control. Together with data flows to human resources, payroll and operations, the solution will enable Tanat Valley Coaches to optimise resources and reduce administration costs.  

Chris added: “As a company operating for 101 years, we wanted to bring the business forward to the 21st century with investment and start to work smarter by digitalising processes and expanding the business. To do this, we needed a partner with industry experience and a proven, scalable solution to support us as we grow the business.  

“Omnibus is very knowledgeable about bus operators’ needs and challenges and this know-how is embedded in the software, which is continuously being enhanced and developed to support us to meet changing market demands. We feel confident in choosing Omnibus as a partner for our future development.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are thrilled by this new partnership and look forward to supporting Tanat Valley Coaches.  

“OmniDAS has been specifically designed with bus operators in mind. The software monitors and enforces drivers’ hours rules and easily manages typical industry practices such as mutual exchanges of work or rest, overtime, enhanced payments, ad hoc duties, and the splitting of work to name just a few. Having multiple pay rules and drivers on differing agreements are also dealt with competently. 

“We are delighted that our software solutions continue to make Omnibus the partner of choice for bus operators of all sizes.” 

– ENDS –

Omnibus Solutions: www.omnibus.solutions

Press contact at Omnibus Solutions, part of EPM Group

Harminder Sangha
harminder.sangha@epm-bus.com
07538 935 568

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

Video – Measuring end-to-end performance of a bus operation

Measuring the end to end performance of a bus operation

A bus operation is a complex business relying on many moving parts or links in a chain, which need to work in harmony to achieve optimum efficiency.

Key performance indicators measure how well each part is working and drive efficiency across the whole operation. The links fall into three broad categories: planning the network, delivering the service, and performance (operational and engineering) review.

In the videos below we discuss how to measure the performance of each of the components which make up an efficient, profitable and sustainable bus operation.

Measuring the end to end performance of a bus operation

Planning the network

Duty efficiency is part of the efficiency chain. In the following 4 videos we discuss how timetables and layover, vehicle utilisation, rostering and the allocation of drivers impact the efficiency chain.

Timetables efficiency

Peak Vehicle Requirement (PVR)

Schedules efficiency

Actual driver cost vs planned driver cost

Building an efficient bus operation

Measuring end-to-end performance

efficiency ebook

Quarterly bus statistics for January to March 2022

Bus passengers

28 June 2022 – Quarterly bus figures showing local bus passenger journeys and fares statistics in Great Britain for January to March 2022, have been published on the DfT website.

For the year ending March 2022, the number of local bus passenger journeys in:

  • England was 2.91 billion, an 85% increase
  • London increased by 76%
  • England outside London increased by 96%
Bus passengers

Comparing local bus passenger journeys for January to March 2022 to January to March 2021, we see:

  • a 106% increase in England
  • London increased by 104%
  • England outside London increased by 109%
  • Scotland increased by 95%
  • Wales increased by 97%

The local bus fares index increased by 3.6% in England between March 2021 and March 2022. For other areas, the local bus fares index change was a:

  • 5.9% increase in London
  • 0.8% increase in metropolitan areas
  • 2.5% increase in non-metropolitan areas
  • no change in Scotland
  • no change in Wales

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) increased by 5.0% over the same 12-month period.

This publication covers data for the year ending March 2022, which coincides with the application of movement restrictions due to COVID-19 in Great Britain.

Read the full document: Quarterly bus statistics: January to March 2022