Buses are integral to everyday life in England, with the sector responsible for creating over 100,000 jobs and around 4.32 billion trips per year. However, when annual bus statistics for England 2018/19 showed that passenger volumes had fallen by 11.9% over 10 years, it suggested that the experience needed an upgrade.

The main reason for this decline has been attributed to the consistency and the quality of trip information available across different operators. Without a consistent approach, passengers and third party developers would not be able to plan their travel, or to see options on the go.

To help, the UK Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) launched the Bus Open Data Service (BODS) platform. BODS is a ‘source of truth’ where bus operators can share consistent data about their timetables, fares, and bus location data. Third party product developers can draw on information from the platform to create or improve apps to provide an enhanced passenger experience.

Before going live, DfT required methodical quality assurance from KPMG to make sure that the BODS application was robust. KPMG conducted rigorous testing to make sure it offered a seamless and straightforward user experience, had consistent data input, and could meet any complex ‘API calls’.

Key to making this project agile, fast and efficient was KPMG’s in-house designed testing tool, pyAX. Using pyAX, the team could build automated tests for both individual API calls and end-to-end processes for BODS various business flows such as timetable data, ticket fare calculations and live bus location data. KPMG was able to build on its in-house developed testing modules and microservice-based architecture to suit the BODS requirements.

As the pyAX framework is cloud-enabled, it allowed for easy collaboration as well as clear dashboard reporting, meaning that any issues could be seen and resolved quickly.

KPMG helped to reduce the BODS programme’s time-to-market by 30-percent, and gave DfT the confidence it needs in BODS.

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