Professional Transport Services

Open Bus Data implementation guidance for operators of local bus services and local authorities in England

15 Dec 2020

Bus open data implementation guide


The bus open data regulations were made in July 2020, after being laid before government in May as the Public Service Vehicles (Open Data) (England) Regulations and being published on the The regulations were subject to the affirmative procedure, debated and approved by both Houses and will come into effect from 31 December 2020.


This non-statutory guidance document is being updated to take account of changes since the launch of the Bus Open Data Service (BODS) in January 2020 and following the making of the legislation.

The guidance is intended to serve as a practical guide to help bus operators and local authorities meet their new statutory requirements as well as encourage application developers and technology providers to use the data, innovating to create applications, products and services that passengers want and need.


This guidance covers:

  • how to access the Bus Open Data system
  • what data you need to publish
  • quality assurance of data
  • the role of local authorities
  • the role of central government
  • using open data to develop products
  • compliance and enforcement

The open data requirements are phased, with the first set of requirements - to publish timetable data - coming into effect from 31 December 2020.


This will be followed by:

  • location and simple fares by 07 January 2021
  • punctuality data for the preceding calendar year (August to December 2020) to be provided by 31 March 2021
  • complex fares data by 7 January 2023

The Department for Transport (DfT) is helping operators meet the statutory requirement through the provision of the Bus Open Data Service (BODS). It’s a new digital service which provides access for third-party data consumers to a distributed model of bus open data, where the data is, largely, held by the operators who run the services.


DfT will continue to offer business change support to bus operators during the transitional period, which is scheduled to run until December 2021. DfT encourage operators to continue to engage with the Bus Open Data team and take advantage of this opportunity.


further information: