TfL is to overhaul the current Ibus systems which has been in place for 14 years with plans for an “iBus2”. TfL is planning an efficient bus network for London which has a life expectancy of not less than 15 years.
The transport body has three main aspirations for its planned computarized systems: lower cost, more flexibility and the ability to function as a source of Open Data.
The company is planning a Market Briefing Event to discuss potential solutions, tentatively pencilled in for Thursday 14th February 2019.
A TfL brochure reads: “It is possible that through this process TfL will decide to procure a similar end-to-end system to the one that exists today. Equally, TfL has a history of innovation and is not averse to change.”
“There are a number of other models for running solutions using standards based architectures and through these, introducing more choice to TfL, more flexibility for bus operators and a standard platform for future change.”
“Currently, our thinking is that TfL may procure a back office solution from a single supplier, but would like to explore the ability to purchase on-vehicle hardware from multiple vendors that can operate with that back office. This is a position statement only and the EME process is intended to inform the final decision.”
Cost savings and efficiency is paramount in the decision making. TfL drives over 85 percent of its revenue from passenger income.
The company faced its first financial year without a direct operational grant from the government, this translates to the loss of more than £700 million in funding.
“The iBus2 project will provide an ITS solution for London buses which costs less to operate, retains the current functionality of iBus as a minimum… provides more flexible and efficient bus operation, service control and management of bus services.
The TfL iBus system uses a combination of on-bus computers, GPS, a wide-area network (WAN), and a smartphone app API to provide real-time bus location information to passengers and depots, as well as a wealth of data to TfL.
iBus also underpins the data collection and calculation engine behind £2 billion in annual payments to London’s bus operating companies (BOCs) and helps buses connect with 2,700 smart traffic lights via shortwave, to request priority.
With an initial £162.4 million contract for the system awarded to Siemens in 2005 – later taken over by Trapeze in 2009 – the system has been in place for some time.
Trapeze won a fresh five-year £98.2 million contract in May 2015 that includes clauses for two further one-year extensions.