Author: Gurby Griffiths

Podcast – Does your scheduling software allow for a combined bus operation?

combined bus operation

Does your scheduling software allow you to plan for a combined bus operation? Our timetabling solution OmniTIMES allows you to have as many route numbers as you need on the same timetable, which makes it easy to plan a combined operation along common sections of the route. Find out more in the podcast.

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See us at the CPT UK Bus & Coach Conference 2023

CPT UK Bus & Coach Conference 2023

Join us, Omnibus and EPM, on the 30th and 31st of March 2023 at the Eastside Rooms, Birmingham, for the UK Bus and Coach Conference hosted by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT).

The event brings together operators large and small with supply chain, key stakeholders and Government to debate, discuss and share experience of the big issues facing the industry.

CPT UK Bus & Coach Conference 2023

Visit our stand and speak with Software Director Nick Brookes and BSOG Director Mat Hanlon about our software solutions and consultancy services, including:

Visit the websiteUK Bus and Coach Conference 2023

What’s onConference itinerary

The Eastside Rooms
2 Woodcock Street
B7 4BL

Thursday 30 March 2023, 10:00 – 17:00 hrs
Friday 21 March 2023, 09:00 – 13:00 hrs

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Reading Buses adopts Omnibus cloud solutions

Reading Buses using cloud solutions

1 March 2023 – Reading Buses is building on its relationship with Omnibus by migrating its scheduling and operations software to the cloud and implementing a new driver app to improve communication.

The operator will move its timetabling, mapping, vehicle scheduling, rostering and data sharing software to a cloud-based scheduling platform to allow for seamless collaboration on jobs, increase accuracy and gain enhanced reporting capabilities.

Reading Buses - cloud solutions

Its depot allocation system, OmniDAS, will be upgraded to the cloud-native version of the solution, enabling the operator to work holistically across all its operations and report on depots individually and as a collective.

Linked to OmniDAS cloud, the operator will implement driver app OmniENGAGE. This will enable Reading Buses to provide its drivers with the ability to submit holiday requests, shift swaps and overtime requests along with an option to push out communication from the business.

Together, the cloud solutions will eliminate infrastructure costs and provide the capabilities Reading Buses needs to streamline processes on a secure and flexible platform.

Laurence Jenkins, Reading Buses

Laurence Jenkins, Finance Director at Reading Buses, said: “Omnibus systems already play a critical role in ensuring we deliver reliable services cost-effectively.

“Adopting the cloud-based solutions will enable council-owned Reading Buses to continue working towards delivering on our priorities such as reducing car dependency for visitors and residents and making buses the best and easiest choice to get around.

“We are excited and proud to extend our partnership with Omnibus and look forward to increased levels of transparency and accountability across the operation.”

Reading Buses operates over 140 buses and delivers 66,000 passenger journeys each day across the county of Berkshire and extending into Oxfordshire and Hampshire as well as parts of Greater London.

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are thrilled to be building on our relationship with Reading Buses, providing them with more solutions to further improve the efficiencies of their business. At Omnibus we are always looking for ways to improve our solutions and implement the latest technology to enable operators of all sizes to make better-informed decisions about their network.”


Reading Buses:

Omnibus Solutions:

Press contact at EPM Group

Harminder Sangha
07538 935 568

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

D&G Bus increases online ticket sales with Omnibus timetable publicity solution

D&G Bus use Omnibus roadside publicity solution

D&G Bus, part of Centrebus Group, operates in Cheshire, Staffordshire and extends into Derbyshire and creates roadside publicity for stops not managed by a transport authority.

Following its expansion to include Chaserider, D&G’s managed bus stops have increased to 1,000, of which the new brand accounts for 70%.

The discrepancy is due to Chaserider’s stops being closer together and responsibility for maintaining displays in Stafford, Cannock and Lichfield resting with the operator.

D&G Bus roadside publicity


It immediately became apparent to D&G that a purpose-built solution was needed to prevent roadside publicity becoming a full-time job. As well as accelerating productivity, the solution needed to provide stop-specific displays with return journey times to reduce the high number of customer enquiries. It also required capability to combine timetables for rural stops with a case only on one side of the road. Achieving this in a spreadsheet was proving very complex with an increased risk of errors. 


An existing customer of the Omnibus scheduling suite, D&G implemented OmniSTOPdesign, which simplifies the creation of timetable publicity. Four key features stood out to D&G:  

  • Timetable data is taken directly from OmniTIMES, ensuring accuracy and data integrity 
  • In-built database to store case information and easily assign templates to stops 
  • User-configurable templates provide complete freedom over style, size and format 
  • Batch create PDF output in-house and without third-party software or support 


OmniSTOPdesign has enabled D&G Bus to optimise roadside publicity, increase online sales and improve customer satisfaction.

“We wanted to make timetable publicity administration faster and more efficient. It now takes 3 seconds to create one panel instead of 15 minutes. We wanted to spend less time answering enquiries by providing better information. We generate thousands of pounds a week more in online ticket sales by adding our app to displays. Passengers can also access real-time journey information by scanning a QR code.” – Chris Almond, Centrebus Group Commercial Officer 

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

Go East Anglia to gain bus stop timetable publicity efficiencies with Omnibus

Go East Anglia to gain bus stop timetable publicity efficiencies with Omnibus

23 February 2023 – Go East Anglia is building on its partnership with Omnibus by implementing timetable publicity solution OmniSTOPdesign to gain efficiencies and realise cost savings. 

OmniSTOPdesign enables the rapid production of public transport displays through customisable templates, which allow for route branding, graphics, logos and marketing messages. The solution links with OmniTIMES, directly taking timetable data from it to ensure information is accurate and up to date. 

Hedingham Bus, Go East Anglia timetable publicity

The Go-Ahead Group-owned operator, which serves Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, also uses Omnibus for mapping, vehicle and crew scheduling, rostering and data exchange. 

Davina Langley, Marketing Manager, Go East Anglia

Davina Langley, Marketing Manager at Go East Anglia, said: “Roadside publicity is a core element to the success of Go East Anglia and is used to draw customers to our services. The way we produce roadside media is not sustainable and is causing a big drain on important staffing resource.  

“OmniSTOPdesign will streamline the production of roadside media and significantly reduce internal resource. We’re pleased to extend our partnership with Omnibus, whose scale and depth of expertise will help us deliver a better service to customers.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We’ve had the pleasure to work closely with Go East Anglia for years and this new agreement is a strong expression of trust in our expertise and solutions, which are continuously being improved to meet customer needs. 

OmniSTOPdesign is used by both operators and transport authorities. The configurable template system provides full control over displays, giving users complete flexibility to deliver passenger information in the most appropriate format.”


Go East Anglia:

Omnibus Solutions:

Press contact at EPM Group

Harminder Sangha
07538 935 568

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

Podcast – Are you compiling background data before you can register a timetable?

Do you compile background data before you can register a timetable

When building a new timetable, are you wasting time compiling background information first before you can register the bus service with the traffic commissioner? Our timetabling solution OmniTIMES allows you to register the timetable with just the journeys and the timings. Find out more in the podcast.

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

£2 bus fare cap to be extended with new funding

£2 bus fare cap to be extended

17 February 2023 – The £2 bus fare cap is to be extended for three months and bus services protected with new funding, the government has announced.

The Transport Secretary today confirmed £80 million from 1 April to 30 June 2023 to protect vital bus services people rely on for work, education, medical appointments and shopping.

£2 bus fare cap to be extended

The government has also announced plans to provide up to £75 million so that bus operators can continue to cap single bus fares outside of London at £2 until the end of June.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Travelling by bus remains the most popular option for commuters and families across the country, but the sector is still trying to recover after the end of the pandemic.

“We’re providing £155 million to help passengers save money on fares, get more people on the bus and protect vital bus routes – helping with the cost of living and enabling people to get where they need to in an affordable and convenient way.”

Read the full news story: £2 bus fare cap to be extended

Hull City Council to meet BSIP commitments with improved bus stop displays from Omnibus

Hull City Council improves timetable displays

31 January 2023 – Hull City Council has upgraded its Omnibus timetable publicity solution to produce high-quality journey information more efficiently.

The long-standing OmniSTOP user has now implemented OmniSTOPdesign, a configurable template system which greatly reduces the time and expense of creating accurate and well-presented at-stop displays.

Hull City Council timetable displays

The upgrade comes after a public consultation, which informed the city’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) and identified the need for easier to understand information, real-time bus information and user-friendly journey planning tools.

Kerry Ryan, Strategic Transport Manager at Hull City Council, said: “Hull has lower car ownership than many cities, as well as areas of high deprivation, making the use of buses paramount. Bus use in Hull is high, and we are always looking to remove any barriers people may face when accessing public transport.

“One of the aims of our BSIP that OmniSTOPdesign will support us with is to provide passengers with easier to understand at-stop information, which is timely, accessible, informative and user-friendly.

“Having full design flexibility, the solution will be used to create tailored templates that fit the space available on the infrastructure. To assist with journey planning, we will take advantage of the ability to easily generate QR codes for each stop so that passengers have access to live real-time data for that stop from their smartphone.”

She added: “A large portion of my time is spent on creating bus stop displays. OmniSTOPdesign has the capability to allocate templates to specific stops and batch produce PDFs for all displays, greatly speeding up production time.”

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are delighted to provide Hull City Council with a solution which improves efficiency and enables them to offer their customers enhanced stop displays in line with their BSIP objectives.”

Hull’s bus network is served by East Yorkshire Buses, part of the Go-Ahead Group, and Stagecoach with around 97% of the services provided being commercial. The remaining 3% is provided with council support.


Hull City Council:

Omnibus Solutions:

Press contact at EPM Group
Harminder Sangha
07538 935 568

Empowering transport authorities with software solutions

Grow patronage, improve efficiency and deliver outstanding customer service

Control Room Efficiency – Streamline the recording of bus driver incidents

Streamline the recording of bus driver incidents

Disruption to bus services has a negative impact on the customer experience so it is important that transport operators can manage re-allocation problems on-the-spot and with the least number of processes for faster resolution. 

But the impact of driver shortages and staff sickness is increasing workloads for controllers. They use multiple systems to resolve staff-related operational issues and this eats into their time, which would be better spent managing the network. How can operators streamline the recording of bus driver incidents and free up their controllers to focus on higher value work?

Streamline the recording of bus driver incidents

Challenge: Time lost to manual data entry

Operators use a range of control room systems – often disparate technology that is not integrated – to record information on absences, customer feedback, accidents, lost mileage, and monitoring punctuality and reliability. Each operational action may also require a record to be made or updated on one or more separate systems.

A staff-related incident, for instance, that results in changes to planned mileage is recorded in the depot allocation system and the bus incident reporting screen. If using disparate data sources (systems which function on their own without sharing data or working with other computer applications), the controller rekeys the same information twice; once in each system. This is not only tedious and time-taking but also makes managing disparate databases difficult as the bus operation grows.

Challenge: Rekeying data leads to errors

There is also a lack of data integrity borne out of two different sources of the same information. Re-entering or transferring data is prone to human errors and lack of precision and can result in varying versions of the same information being entered into different systems. In addition, any discrepancy takes time to identify and rectify.

Furthermore, driver availability issues mean operators are cancelling and amending services in lots of different systems. If the controller is distracted and there is a delay in recording information, the data is logged incorrectly or they forget to enter it in one or more systems, this can result in out-of-date information going out to the end-customer.

Data that is manually entered in multiple systems or generated from a variety of sources can become unreliable if it is not consistent. This, in turn, may lead to difficulties with reporting and poor decision-making, and result in significant cost implications for the operator and directly impact the service to the end customer.

Solution: Reduce duplication with software integration

Operators can overcome these challenges by automating interactions between their data systems and in doing so streamline processes. For instance, staff-related changes recorded in the depot allocation system can automatically transfer to the bus incident reporting screen, meaning data only needs to be entered into one system. This reduces the time required to record the incident, therefore, increasing staff efficiencies, and allows for faster response times to solving problems as they arise.

Software integration also ensures operational data across systems is consistent. The removal of duplicate data entry points reduces the opportunities for human error, providing operators with a single source of truth for decision-making and reporting purposes.

How we can help

With over 30 years’ experience in software and consultancy services, EPM Group (EPM and Omnibus) has comprehensive knowledge of the passenger transport industry and well-established software solutions to improve operational agility.

Control Hub automatically consolidates operational data from multiple control room systems into one central location, empowering operators to efficiently manage on-the-day issues and achieve significant cost-savings.

To book a free consultation, complete the online form.

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Annual bus statistics for the year ending March 2022

Annual bus statistics for the year ending March 2022

31 January 2023 – Local bus statistics for England, including passenger journeys, bus mileage and vehicles, for the year ending March 2022 have been published on the DfT website.

The figures show an increase in passenger journeys by 1.3 billion or 79.6% to 2.8 billion. This was however still far lower than 2 years ago where passenger journeys in the financial year ending 2020 for England were 4.1 billion.

Annual bus statistics for the year ending March 2022

Bus mileage in England saw an increase when compared to the financial year ending 2021 by 93.3 million miles or 9.6%. Bus mileage has been less severely impacted than passenger journeys over the last couple of years. This is largely due to the Covid-19 Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) and then the Bus Recovery Grant (BRG) which was introduced to keep services running that may have otherwise operated at a loss, or not operated at all.

Read the full document: Annual bus statistics for year ending March 2022