Ipswich-based ITO World works with Google and Arriva on real time travel information project

Passengers boarding an Arriva UK bus.

Passengers boarding an Arriva UK bus. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk-based data specialist has worked alongside technology giant Google and transport group Arriva on a project to provide real-time service updates for bus users around the UK.

ITO World, which is based in Ipswich, provided a data management and conversion service to help extend the availability of up-to-the minute travel information already offered through Arriva’s website and a mobile app to Google Maps.

It means that, instead of offering only static scheduled timetable information from Arriva, the Google Transit feature is now able to provide real-time information at individual bus stop level for Arriva services – understood to be the first such facility for bus services outside of London.

ITO, which specialises in transport data conversion, visualisation and analysis, worked with Google on a major upgrade of its official maps app last year to include details of public transport services across the whole of Great Britain.

It has now worked with Arriva to ensure that the real time data from the company’s 4,000 buses around the country, outside of London, flows smoothly into Google Maps.

Mike Jacklin, commercial director at ITO World, said: “This is an interesting first step for us in helping Google provide real time information outside the London area.”

Mike Woodhouse, senior marketing manager for digital channels and customer relationship management at Arriva UK Bus said: “As the first national bus operator to share our RTI (real time information) within Google Maps, both existing and potential new bus passengers will be able to benefit from access to consistent and accurate information across multiple information channels, giving them the confidence to use public transport.”

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David Tattersall, maps product manager at Google, added: “We are excited to bring real-time information to all of our Google Maps users, just in time for summer when people across the country rely on buses to get to and from their holiday destinations. We believe that this will give our users more options and save them more time.”