Category: OmniBASE

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

Ritchies growth supported with the adoption of the Omnibus scheduling

Ritchies using Omnibus scheduling software

Founded in the 1930s, Ritchies Transport Holdings Limited (Ritchies) has grown into one of the largest passenger transport operators in New Zealand.

The operator has 15 depots and 18 sub-depots and operates nationwide across the North and South Islands, from Kaitaia in the north, to Gore in the south as well as an operation on the remote Chatham Islands.

Ritchies using Omnibus scheduling software

In New Zealand many businesses need to be multi-faceted offering a complete range of public transport. Ritchies has a diverse fleet of over 1,500 vehicles including approximately:

  • 600 urban buses
  • 600 school buses
  • 100 SESTA (special needs transport – cars and minibuses)
  • 250 tour coaches, charter coaches, intercity and long-distance coaches

Business challenges

Since 2008, Ritchies has significantly expanded its urban transport business through commercial services and more recently through tendering. An external transport consultant had been used to bid for Government tendered services using their own scheduling software to analyse the tender opportunities but this came at a cost.

The operator wanted to develop the scheduling skills in-house and transition the tendering work which was commissioned through the external consultant into ‘business as usual’ for Ritchies.

Why partner with Omnibus?

Aware the Omnibus scheduling suite is ‘well-regarded’ in the UK, a presentation and product demo to the Ritchies senior team was undertaken over video conference, followed by an onsite visit to Ritchies HQ in New Zealand by the Omnibus team. As well as being impressed with the powerful scheduling suite capabilities to improve operational efficiencies, there was a natural cultural fit with the businesses, with both businesses being extremely passionate about buses and passenger transport.

The senior team was confident with the Omnibus team’s knowledge and their industry experience.


In 2018, the scheduling suite – OmniTIMES, OmniBASE, OmniROTA and CrewPLAN – was implemented at the operator’s 7 main urban depots, covering 400 vehicles. Also, the scheduling team has grown from 1 to 3 users.

“Being on different time zones and continents, the Omnibus team have been very accommodating, training our teams outside of their normal working hours. This flexible and client-centric approach has proved very helpful.” – Stephen Cruttwell, Implementation Manager, Ritchies Transport


Ritchies now has the capability to compile schedules and test scenarios very quickly, saving valuable time. The impact of growth opportunities, such as acquisitions, can easily be assessed and output has trebled by developing scheduling skills in-house.

Since 2018, Ritchies has successfully won several tenders due to achieving significant cost-savings by testing different schedules and improving operational efficiency.

“Omnibus is great for pricing a tender. We now have the ability of loading multiple timetables and creating bus graphs quickly and efficiently. We can provide with confidence the pricing value for a tender; with 100% confidence in the output from the software solutions.” – Chris Suares, Scheduling Manager at Ritchies

The business had a very specific way of compiling duty cards; with a wide range of duty card formats available in the system the operator was able to produce one that best fits the business, which reduced the pain when duty card changes were implemented.

Management information and analysis of network performance, such as bus kilometres per hour and driver duty analysis, is now available in a structured format and easily extracted from the platform, achieving time efficiencies to compile these, freeing management to work on intervention strategies.

“The software has given us the capability to understand where operational savings can be achieved and analyse the implication of changes in the schedules. For example, there was a schedule where the customer increased the runtime of a single service by 2 minutes.

“The Omnibus platform gave us the ability to easily see the impact of this change on the schedule. Prior to having the software, we would have to pull out each duty to have a look at it. This was a time-intensive and manual process. Now it’s very quick and easy to review and make changes.” – Chris Suares

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Video – Bus operator efficiency around the clean bus revolution

Bus operator efficiency around the clean bus revolution, bus operator

Bus operators will need to address a number of issues in order to be in a position to run a fully electrified operation or one with a mixture of alternative fuels vehicles.

Sam Greaves, Head of Service Delivery at Tower Transit, discusses the issues in this 4-part video series on the clean bus revolution and its impact on bus operator efficiency.

Bus operator efficiency, Sam Greaves, Tower Transit

Getting enough power to run services

Efficiency issues around depot electrification

Impact of EVs on the efficiency chain

Bus depot location and efficiency

Supporting operators to improve efficiency when scheduling alternative fuels vehicles

Sam Greaves
Head of Service Delivery at Tower Transit

How OmniBASE has improved efficiency at Tower Transit around scheduling electric vehicles.

Produce efficient and accurate vehicle schedules quickly

Conceive, plan and schedule complete operations in OmniBASE.

Squarepeg Buses digitalises scheduling and allocation with Omnibus cloud solutions

Squarepeg Buses digitalises scheduling and allocation with Omnibus cloud solutions

Squarepeg Buses, an independent operator in Leeds, has selected Omnibus cloud solutions to optimise scheduling and operational activities. 

The operator provides public, private and school transport services to a loyal customer base in the city and surrounding areas and needed software to work smarter in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Established in 2009 and with a peak vehicle requirement (PVR) of 13, the operator will deploy timetabling, vehicle scheduling, rostering, mapping, depot allocation and data sharing solutions. The Omnibus software has been developed over 30 years and is designed to gain operational and cost efficiencies in the planning of services as well as making the process easier for schedulers. 

Simon Daymond, Director of Squarepeg Buses, said: “We’ve always embraced technology and our approach has been to find opportunities through software, rather than scrambling for solutions when problems occur. Covid brought this to the fore and gave us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we do as a business.  

“We were impressed by the clear superiority of the Omnibus products and the cloud benefits they will provide our family-focussed business. We’re driven by the needs of our passengers; the team at Omnibus has a strong background in the bus industry and deep understanding of the challenges operators face which will make a major contribution to the continued high-quality of our services.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “We are delighted that Squarepeg Buses has chosen Omnibus to address their scheduling and operational requirements to support their future growth and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our technology is designed specifically for schedulers and is quick and easy to use with efficient processes which improve productivity.” 


PR contact at Omnibus, part of the EPM Group:
Harminder Sangha
+44 (0)7538 935 568

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Video – Omnibus simplifies electric vehicles scheduling

Omnibus simplifies electric vehicles scheduling

Sam Greaves, Head of Service Delivery at Tower Transit UK, has been in the bus industry for over 25 years. In this video he explains how his schedulers are using the alternative fuels functionality in our vehicle scheduling module OmniBASE to efficiently schedule electric buses.

Empowering you with software to drive your business forward

Intuitive. Seamless. Dynamic.

Rowgate Group selects Omnibus for scheduling and depot allocation

Rowgate Group selects Omnibus to drive efficiencies

Rowgate Group, a leading Berkshire-based bus and coach operator, has chosen Omnibus software solutions for driving timetabling, scheduling and allocation efficiencies.  

The group incorporates three independents – Fernhill Travel, White Bus and Baileys Coaches which have a combined fleet of 70. The partnership brings digitalisation of processes to White Bus, and OmniDAS, a cloud-based depot allocation system, to all three of the group’s operators.

Rowgate Group selects Omnibus to drive efficiencies

OmniDAS provides Rowgate Group with realtime driver and vehicle management, and seamless cross-functional collaboration across its 4 locations in Windsor, Bracknell, Woking and Newbury.  

White Bus also adopts the intuitive Omnibus scheduling suite, allowing the county’s oldest independent to produce complex timetables and robust scenarios in minutes, and TransXChange tools to easily share data with other systems. 

Together the market leading software solutions provide Rowgate Group with the capability adopted by larger operators. 

Simon Rowgate, the managing director of Rowgate GroupSimon Rowland, Managing Director of Rowgate Group, said: “It is important for us to stay ahead of the game and to do this we need a partner with proven solutions and a deep understanding of the UK bus industry and the challenges operators face. 

“Omnibus is uniquely placed with the knowledge, expertise and technology to support us as we optimise our resources toward the most effective services for communities across the Home Counties and beyond.  

“The solutions cover 100% of our needs. The powerful algorithms in the software maximise results, resources and non-driving staff efficiency as well as being easy to use. We are excited about our partnership and leveraging the innovative capabilities offered by Omnibus.” 

Peter Crichton, Founder of Omnibus, said: “With a 30-plus year track record of supporting the passenger transport industry, Omnibus is proud to provide Rowgate Group with software solutions which will help drive business growth by improving operational efficiency across the business. Our comprehensive solutions continue to make Omnibus the partner of choice for smaller independents up to large global operators.” 

The scheduling suite consists of powerful timetabling, scheduling, mapping, rostering and crew duty modules, while OmniDAS can allocate and manage resources, produce timesheet and payroll information, and automate staff sign-on. This allows organisations to focus on service provision without having to worry about time-consuming administration.


PR contact at Omnibus, part of the EPM Group:
Harminder Sangha
+44 (0)7538 935 568

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Cardiff Bus embraces Omnibus alternative fuels scheduling technology

Cardiff Bus embraces Omnibus alternative fuels scheduling technology

Cardiff Bus has embraced enhancements to the Omnibus vehicle scheduling software, OmniBASE, to improve the scheduling efficiency of their alternative fuels transport. 

The operator will use the features to validate assumptions for its battery-electric buses. 

The new functionality in the powerful software makes scheduling alternative fuels vehicles easier and quicker. 

Cardiff Bus embraces Omnibus alternative fuels scheduling technology

Operators can specify alternative fuel types along with fuel capacity and discharge rates – and the data is specific to each schedule, which allows schedulers to adjust parameters by depot and over time based on real-world data.  

Schedulers can quickly review their workings with new reporting which provides an overview on the ability of each bus working to operate within range, based on the vehicle parameters defined by the user.   

Other new features to help improve efficiency include distance details on the bus graph – making editing workings easier, and the ability to provide information on driver running boards to advise on the required battery charge for an electric vehicle to complete a trip.   

Also, intelligence has been added to the link process to assess the effect on charge levels and feasibility of potential bus links, assisting the scheduler in selecting the pieces of work that provide the best match and taking into account charging requirements and opportunities.  

In terms of electric vehicles, new functionality identifies a period when a vehicle is recharging, and this time is automatically converted to additional range and factored into the range calculations.  

Gareth Stevens, Commercial Director at Cardiff Bus, said: “As Cardiff’s main bus operator and a real cog in the wheel of city-life, public transport is key to reducing air pollution in our cities. With the adoption of new fuel types, we need a partner who understands our business. Omnibus has consistently proven to be a trusted partner for us as we continue to use the latest technology to meet our zero emissions goal and investment plans for the future.”  

Peter Crichton, Omnibus founder, said: “Providing robust software solutions for the bus industry is at the core of what we do and OmniBASE achieves this by enabling operators to produce efficient and accurate vehicle schedules quickly and for all types of passenger transport.   

“The new advanced functionality in the software not only improves scheduling efficiency, but it also supports operators on their journey to meet the Government’s clean air targets.” 


PR contact at Omnibus, part of the EPM Group:
Harminder Sangha
+44 (0)7538 935 568

Supporting operators to improve efficiency when scheduling alternative fuels vehicles

Sam Greaves
Head of Service Delivery at Tower Transit

How OmniBASE has improved efficiency at Tower Transit around scheduling electric vehicles.

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

Webinar – Managing alternative fuels vehicles in OmniBASE

Alternative fuels vehicles in OmniBASE

The drive to net zero is revolutionising the passenger transport industry as we know it – and our solutions are too.

To meet the needs of bus operators, our vehicle scheduling software OmniBASE now includes advanced alternative fuels functionality to make planning for battery-electric, hydrogen and gas buses quick and easy.

Alternative fuels vehicles in OmniBASE

In our webinar, recorded on Tuesday 7 December, we run through our Alternative Fuels functionality, covering all facets of the new features available to OmniBASE users.

The webinar includes:

  • How to configure new fuel parameters for your vehicle types
  • New ‘at a glance’ reports to help schedulers quickly review workings
  • Improvements to the link tool and adding distance information to the bus graph
  • For EVs, functionality to identify when a vehicle is recharging

Scheduling around the limited range of alternative fuel vehicles

Bus operators – Scheduling around the limited range of alternative fuel vehicles

Operating range has always been a parameter in vehicle scheduling but has not been restrictive until recently.

The introduction of vehicles with alternative fuel sources (battery electric, hydrogen, gas) presents a schedules challenge as range is not as great, and can be more variable, compared to the diesel buses they replace. 

Bus operators – Scheduling around the limited range of alternative fuel vehicles

With national, regional and local government having environmental and decarbonisation strategies all major bus operators are investing in alternative fuels. Government funding has been available to assist with the investment required to cover the additional costs of these vehicles and associated infrastructure. 

With range now a restrictive parameter, operators need tools to help produce vehicle workings with oversight of range. In addition, vehicle schedules must also have awareness of opportunities to recharge, in the case of electric vehicles (EVs), and reflect the impact this has on the available range of each bus.

What operators should consider

Managing range can be done manually by the scheduling team but requires transferring data into spreadsheets to calculate distances travelled, equate that to fuel depletion and factor in any refuel or recharge opportunities. This can be a time-consuming, repetitive and iterative process – and not the most efficient use of resource. 

Furthermore, it is recognised that technology is improving and as this matures vehicle range will increase. Simultaneously, it is known that an EV’s battery degradation reduces range over time.  

One important factor is that range can be affected by seasons; more fuel is required in the winter to power heating and lighting for instance. Also, high consumption routes may require more vehicles to reduce the range across the buses than those in rural areas.  Where recharge or refuel is required during the day, branded routes – routes operated by buses in specific colours or branding – can become diluted by operating vehicles in the regular brand in order to optimise vehicle workings. The alternative may be that additional vehicles are required to maintain route branding which, of course, adds further cost to the operation. 

These dynamics show that maximum vehicle range is not a constant, it changes over time between vehicle types and routes. Therefore, a solution must be flexible enough to work around these dynamics.

Efficiently dealing with range-related issues

When accommodating alternative fuel vehicles into a schedule there are several different considerations. Firstly, the best thing an operator should do is start planning early and consider all the options and permutations available.  

Next is how to deal with any range-related issues. For EVs this could be about how and where recharging takes place. Is it opportunity charging at a terminus or depot charging? Then how do vehicles get to a charging or refuelling point? It might be that changing the way driver reliefs occur can facilitate recharge/refuel opportunities.  

This point is not exclusive to EVs, hydrogen fuelling infrastructure is not commonplace and vehicles may be required to visit a separate off-site location for fuel. Here, the challenge for bus operators is deciding how and when this fits the vehicle and crew schedules. 

Operators should also consider whether they can make better use of their vehicles. Particularly whether ‘peak only’ workings could be utilised all day to create time in the schedule for recharging or to reduce the average distance worked across other vehicles. Of course, the operator may then need to consider the impact on their maintenance schedules.


It is important for operators to plan their vehicle workings effectively to get the most efficient use out of their new alternative fuel vehicles without running out of juice. Alternative fuel vehicles are more expensive than standard diesel buses, so it is important to minimise the number of vehicles required.  

Therefore, a range of tools are required to assist schedulers when planning vehicle workings that can assist their role in making sure schedules are deliverable within the parameters of an alternative fuel vehicle. 

How Omnibus can help

With over 30 years’ experience in software and consultancy services, Omnibus enables passenger transport operators to model operable and cost-effective schedules for limited range vehicles, and provides support with decarbonisation strategies – see Oxford Bus Company. 

Omnibus’ schedulingstaff rosteringdepot allocation, timetable construction and publicity software solutions are trusted by public transport operators and local authorities, and implemented in mainland Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  

To discuss your alternative fuels scheduling and planning requirements, please contact us on 0161 683 3100 or complete the online form.