Our member, Transport Scotland, introduces their new collaborative Digital Travel Data Services (DTDS) Project.

What is the DTDS project?

The project builds on the Traveline Scotland website and app services to improve the way people access and plan journeys online. As well as bringing a fresh look and feel to the app and website, the project will improve public transport and travel information to support passengers and allow them to make informed decisions about their journeys.

We are building a new generation data management system which will provide the most accurate, up-to-date, and extensive public transport and travel information in Scotland, serving as a single source of truth. The new system will improve journey planning information for passengers across all travel modes, including fares information by moving to NeTEx format. And we’re looking at the big picture – the project not only aims to improve data on public transport modes, but also accessibility and active travel information, emissions data, disruptions data, and real-time information. For example, considering walking, cycling, and wheeling routes and information on the collection of bikes or mobility scooters to support accessible and active travel.

We plan to host this data, and make it universally available, so that transport operators and third-party planners such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS) can freely use it in their websites and apps to further enhance the experience for their customers.

What difference will it make?

Travel is essential for access to work, education, health, and leisure opportunities. We want to break down the barriers to accessing public transport by making more data and information available to everyone. Improvements to the Traveline Scotland website and app, and other journey planning tools, will make it easier for users to make better, more informed travel choices. Users will be able to tailor their search results to show the things that matter most to them, whether that’s the fastest or cheapest route, a step-free route, or the route with the greenest carbon footprint. The provision of multi-modal journey planning that will help those with interchanges make better travel choices and plan their journeys in the most cost effective and time efficient way.

DTDS will make it easier for people to choose sustainable public and active travel options, which improve our health and wellbeing and help tackle the climate emergency. By providing better information about sustainable public transport options and active travel routes, we hope to give people confidence that they can complete their journey without the need of a car, and in return gain the health benefits of being more active and improvement in air quality.

When is this happening?

The project has now mobilised, progressing the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government commitment to procure and improve the quality of public transport journey planning services across Scotland. Improvements will be delivered across a number of phases over the next four years, commencing with the delivery of new generation journey planning technologies, with further enhancements in later phases.

Who is involved?

Transport Scotland is working with Traveline Scotland Limited and Trapeze Group (UK) Ltd to deliver these services, establishing a DTDS Project Team.

  • The DTDS Project Team will deliver the full refresh to the Traveline Scotland website and apps and the underlying Data Management systems that will manage transport data. Transport Scotland own the DTDS contract and are overseeing delivery of the project.
  • Traveline Scotland is the Managed Service Provider. They continue to manage the Traveline Scotland website and app, outgoing open data feeds, and their 24/7 call centre.
  • Trapeze Group UK will deliver the digital front and back-end systems, with technical responsibility for collecting, maintaining, and enhancing the available data.

How will DTDS interact with MaaS?

DTDS is a journey planning product and will not provide payment and booking facilities, so we see MaaS continuing to play a key role in helping increase confidence in using public transport and active travel, helping drive modal shift from private cars. We have, and will, continue to engage with MaaS providers to ensure that MaaS and DTDS services work in harmony to further enhance the travelling experience for people travelling in Scotland.

What’s next?

We’re currently running stakeholder engagement workshops with transport operators, Local Authorities, Regional Transport Partnerships and other transport data providers, which are helping us to understand what’s possible now and in the future. We’re also conducting extensive user research activity with representatives of the front-end users of the website and app, to ensure our solution is user-friendly and accessible.

This engagement activity will continue throughout the project and will help refine and shape our delivery.

If you would like to find out more about our engagement activity, how it fits in with your MaaS projects, or if you have any questions or would like more information about what we’re doing, please get in touch with us at [email protected].