First Bus partners with Optibus for digital scheduling

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The Optibus system has been rolled out across First Bus UK’s network of operations, supporting dozens of schedulers managing 4,000 vehicles across the country

First Bus has teamed up with planning and operations software specialist Optibus to complete the digital transformation of its scheduling data, processes and systems across all of its UK operations.

First said the roll-out of Optibus across its nationwide operations will enable all of its individual operating companies to improve the service and operational efficiency of its fleet of 4,000 buses covering areas including Glasgow, Bristol, Essex, Yorkshire, Cornwall and more, leading to improved services for over 1 million daily passengers and smoother, faster work processes for dozens of schedulers.

The company says its migration to Optibus has achieved significant savings across its operations, as well as simplifying the process of making network changes and improving the lives of schedulers. First Bus believes it now has the capability to be more agile with network decision making and explore enhancement to work patterns and rosters using advanced duty optimisation algorithms and an automated rostering product, with real-time and localised solutions.

First Bus Chief Commercial Officer Simon Pearson said: “We are delighted to have rolled out Optibus’ innovative new software across our UK business. The implementation will improve the lives of our staff and our customers whilst making us more agile as a business in facing challenges and delivering the best possible service.

“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the team at Optibus to discover opportunities for improvement and to push the UK public transport industry forward.”

Over the course of their five-year partnership, First Bus has tested many new Optibus features in live environments, helping Optibus to tailor the product to real-life scenarios and unique challenges faced by operators across the United Kingdom, spanning electric vehicle deployment, cost efficiency, and effective network redesign to meet new travel patterns.

Optibus General Manager Dave Joshua said: “Making public transport better requires input from operators, drivers, and schedulers on the frontlines of daily operations. First Bus has been a valuable partner in helping Optibus to develop custom technological solutions for the UK public transport market, and beyond. We are grateful for their insight and are proud to count them as one of our partners in making public transportation better, together.”

First Bus and Optibus have been working in partnership since 2018 to develop technological solutions that improve the lives of First’s frontline staff. FIRST