Category: Consultancy

How Buslines uses Omnibus to deliver savings

Buslines Group vehicle

Buslines Group is a regional bus operator servicing the New South Wales area in Australia. With 360 buses operating across 12 regions it primarily offers bus services for school children covering a large, mainly rural geographical area.

With 95% of passengers being children the operator prides itself on offering a reliable, safe and personalised service, where bus drivers know the children and parents they serve.


Buslines are a family-owned business who have been operating for 95 years. The production of schedules has been completed manually. Recently, management wanted to digitalise the scheduling process that would enable multiple people to be involved in the scheduling process and for them to be located anywhere, not constrained to one office.

Digitalisation of bus timetables is also becoming the norm with passengers getting journey information in real-time on-demand from key travel sites. However, Buslines did not have the capability to provide such data due to information being produced manually.


Omnibus’ solution was selected after Buslines reviewed a range of systems from different suppliers in the market. The operator wanted a supplier who provided not only a great product but also a high level of customer service to support them through the adoption process.

Buslines have implemented a number of Omnibus systems; OmniTIMES to rapidly produce timetables, OmniMAP to automatically generate bus route mapping, OmniBASE to create efficient bus schedules, CrewPLAN to deliver optimised driver schedules, and OmniROTA to deliver cost-effective staff rosters.

Consultancy services have also been provided by Omnibus to support Buslines in the submission of responses to large tenders. This allows the operator to access additional skilled resource and ensure high quality tenders are submitted, without impacting day-to-day business.


Efficiency and savings in the scheduling process

Since adopting the system, Buslines have been able to implement changes to schedules and make the process more efficient. This has delivered important savings, such as;

  • Changing the timetable by 5 minutes resulting in a reduction of the number of buses required to deliver the schedule.
  • Dead trips changes and timetable tweaks to deliver more efficient bus workings.

“We are seeing great value using OmniBASE and CrewPLAN, the algorithm in the system quickly produces the most efficient schedule and depot allocation workings” – David D’Apuzzo, Director at Buslines Group in Australia

Transport for New South Wales TODIS file produced quickly and seamlessly

Transport for New South Wales, the Connected Bus Programme, requires an electronic TODIS file which includes information on bus timetables and real-time bus journey information. By adopting the Omnibus software solution, Buslines have been able to provide this data quickly and seamlessly.

The TODIS file underpins the online travel planner where customers also have live feeds showing where the bus is, journey times and if a bus is running late. This is a key benefit for parents waiting for their children at a bus stop.

Minimise timetable errors 

As part of a Government programme, several towns in which Buslines operate are introducing new networks and are now offering additional services during weekdays, at night and on weekends. This leads to regular service review meetings and frequent timetable changes.

By using the fully integrated suite of Omnibus systems, Buslines can implement any changes quickly and efficiently. With data flowing seamlessly from timetables through to schedules and rosters, the operator is now confident that the latest timetable information is always used and previous errors in alignment between timetables and operations are eliminated.

The future

Buslines have now removed the risk of a single point of failure in the production of their schedules, whilst improving the effectiveness of the scheduling process. In turn, this has resulted in operational costs savings through more efficient schedules.

With work under way to map all Buslines services using Omnibus journey planning tools, the operator expects to achieve further improvements in operational efficiency whilst also raising the quality of bus services provided to customers.

Take the hassle out of scheduling

Empowering you with technology to develop efficient and optimised schedules

Creating optimised EV scheduling scenarios

Luke Marion, finance and commercial director, Oxford Bus Company

Building on the success of their existing electric-hybrid buses, Omnibus were chosen to work in partnership with Oxford Bus Company on their decarbonisation strategy.

Part of the Go-Ahead Group, the operator sought to gain a competitive advantage by creating schedules that supported their bid for the Government’s ZEBRA funding to purchase a fully electric fleet.

Luke Marion, finance and commercial director, Oxford Bus Company

Their goal was to keep costs to a minimum by improving vehicle and driver management. In addition, Omnibus advised on the inter-urban services operated by sister company Thames Travel.


Oxford Bus Company required scheduling scenarios to support a wide variety of work to analyse the impact of electric vehicles on operations as well as costs. Requirements included creating:

  • Multiple scheduling scenarios created and compared, to maximise the total number of miles operated per vehicle per day due to the limited range of the electric vehicles (EVs) specified, and to ensure that expensive new EV buses purchased would be effectively utilised. These are across numerous rosters at both Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel.
  • Scheduling scenarios produced to inform on the effect that an EV operation may have on driver duty costs and content.
  • Scheduling scenarios produced to inform on the effect that a 100% EV operation may have on overall costs.

The company operates a comprehensive network of services in the city, as well as express coach services to the airports. It also operates the BROOKESbus service in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and park & ride which connects five car parks to the city centre.


Omnibus’ consultancy team proposed custom performance scenarios agreed with the operator’s vision to operate 100% zero emission vehicles on city routes by 2024. Omnibus also advised on the most cost-effective solution to roll out a fully electric bus fleet. The solution included:

  • Producing scenarios on agreed route groupings to determine:
    • Additional vehicle requirements
    • Changes to duty costs and content
    • Route branding issues
  • Highlighting the minimum cost solutions and advising on the most efficient solutions based on maintaining route groupings.
  • Highlighting requirements for opportunity charging during the day and for overnight charging.
  • Running further scenario testing for long distance inter-urban routes that were expected to be less well-suited than city services to move to an EV operation.

Luke Marion, Finance & Commercial Director of Oxford Bus Company, said: “We’ve had a long-standing partnership with Omnibus and have always highly valued their proactive and positive approach to helping us solve our scheduling challenges.

“The work they’ve done to support us on the electrification project has been invaluable in helping us understand how we will need to adapt our scheduling practices to deal with new vehicle technologies.”


By using Omnibus’ consultancy services, Oxford Bus Company was able to use optimal and robust scheduling models to meet its environmental objectives. The operator succeeded in:

  • Maintaining scheduled service times
  • Smoothing the EV charging operation throughout
  • Maximising driver efficiency by re-allocating duties
  • Reducing costs by mixing vehicle workings
  • Maintaining brand identity on established routes

Key features and figures found in these results are to be used to inform and appraise future decarbonisation projects across the Go-Ahead group.

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Omnibus software supports Oxford Bus company to meet ‘net zero’

Oxford Bus Company

14th June 2021 – Omnibus is cementing its commitment to support bus operators accelerate towards ‘net zero’ – and Oxford Bus Company is the latest to benefit.

The leading transport software supplier has carried out work around electric vehicle (EV) operations for the company, which is part of the Go-Ahead Group. The work will support the operator’s bid for government funding as Oxford prepares to deploy large numbers of electric buses under the government’s ‘ZEBRA’ scheme.

Oxford Bus Company

Omnibus created custom performance scenarios on agreed route groupings and advised on the most operable, cost-effective solution with which they can roll out a fully electric bus fleet across the city. The work will inform Go-Ahead’s wider strategy for decarbonisation, and Omnibus is also advising on the interurban services operated by Thames Travel.

Luke Marion, Finance & Commercial Director of Oxford Bus Company, said: “We’ve had a longstanding partnership with Omnibus and have always highly valued their proactive and positive approach to helping us solve our scheduling challenges. The work they’ve done to support us on the electrification project has been invaluable in helping us understand how we will need to adapt our scheduling practices to deal with new vehicle technologies.

“Omnibus have used the feedback from ourselves, and from other operators to feed into the development of  some really useful improvements to their tools, and we believe these will keep Omnibus at the front of the pack of bus scheduling software for some time to come.”

Peter Crichton, Omnibus Managing Director, said: “We’re committed to giving our customers complete visibility over their fleet and operations and delivering accurate information first time.

“Our software has been used to successfully plan for numerous EV operations and limited range vehicles – and naturally we are delighted Oxford Bus Company chose our team to support them in their bid for government funding.”

Kieran Proctor, Omnibus Technical Account Manager who worked on the project, said: “Oxford Bus Company needed scheduling scenarios running to see how they can maximise the total number of electric miles operated, whilst also considering the limited range of these vehicles – so the vehicle workings needed to be spot on. They also wanted to analyse any impact to driver costs that these revisions may cause.

“By producing several realistic scheduling solutions we were able to consider the various cost implications of each. The customer was delighted with the results, and this level of scrutiny has given them the confidence that they have the best possible plan to introduce a fully electric bus fleet to the streets of Oxford.”

Omnibus has worked on a number of decarbonisation projects for customers in the UK and in Europe. National Express UK Bus and Harrogate Bus Company, amongst many others, use Omnibus software to plan and manage existing EV operations.

Through active involvement in similar projects and valuable feedback from customers, the Omnibus team have been able to design software improvements that make planning EV solutions much easier.

With further enhancements in the pipeline, Mr Crichton said Omnibus is committed to giving customers the best solutions for the job.

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Press Contact:
Harmi Sangha

Marketing Manager – Omnibus and EPM Bus Solutions
07538 935 568 

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Take the hassle out of scheduling 

Empowering you with technology to develop efficient and optimised schedules