Bus Stop Checker checks the accuracy of NaPTAN data by verifying it against information contained in Open Street Map (OSM). By visualising any discrepancies, we hope to encourage a discussion around the provision of more accurate public transport information and support a healthier open data ecosystem in the UK. Read more about how the tool generates confidence ratings.
Would you like more insight into the verifiability of NaPTAN data in your local area? Please get in touch with the Passenger team for deeper local analytics.
NaPTAN (National Public Transport Access Nodes) is a UK-based dataset that uniquely identifies all 400,000+ public transport points of access in Britain. The Bus Services Act 2017: Consultation on Bus Open Data mandates that local transport authorities must create, publish and maintain these records in a common format, making them easy for anyone to use.
Many popular journey planning apps -- including Citymapper, Google Maps and Passenger -- pull data from NaPTAN to provide information about key public transport locations (or Access Nodes).
By verifying NaPTAN data against information contained in OSM, we have found a non-trivial amount of potentially inconsistent information in the NaPTAN dataset. These inconsistencies are highlighted if a bus stop's purported bearing does not match the bearing of the road it is on.
As mentioned in the Bus Services Act 2017, without accurate, up-to-date bus information, the value of the data produced is diminished, resulting in loss of passenger trust and potentially sending them to the wrong stop or even in the wrong direction.
By visualising confidence in NaPTAN as Bus Stop Checker, we aim to clearly highlight any inaccuracies that could be accidentally overlooked in NaPTAN's vast tables of data. We hope that this information gives people the confidence to ask questions about the quality of the data they provide and encourages a discussion around the improvement and management of a healthier public transport data ecosystem.
In doing this, we would like to learn about the barriers faced by local authorities responsible for NaPTAN's upkeep and discuss what could be done to ensure a higher quality level in published data. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss our findings further.
We reindex NaPTAN data and compare to OSM data on the last day of each month, so if changes are made as a result of this project, you should expect to see them next month. If the tool becomes valuable we can increase the frequency of the update, so please send us your thoughts.
Our data export function isn't ready yet, but you can request a data export for your Authority by entering your email below. We'll be in touch - and don't worry, we won't sign you up to any mailing lists.