Between the Lines: PTV launches bus route planning tool

Modelling and simulation software company PTV Group has launched a new web-based tool
in the UK to allow local authorities and bus operators to better plan bus and other public
transport routes and timetables. The solution enables operators to deliver services to more
passengers while maximising efficiency and minimising cost.

PTV Lines provides planners with immediate feedback on operational cost estimates and
catchment area KPIs, helping them to create impactful ideas to include in Bus Service
Improvement Plans (BSIPs), enhanced partnerships, and continuous transformation. The
solution goes beyond just network planning, simplifying service adjustments and data
visualisation to replace outdated GIS and spreadsheet-based approaches. It also allows
accessibility analysis with user-uploaded demographic data, helping to improve services for
various use cases and target groups.

Providing a clear picture of an entire local bus network, users can test scenarios by moving
routes or stops with a simple drag-and-drop user interface. For instance, they can easily
reveal how many people live within a 400-metre radius of a stop, or how far residents can
travel within a specific timeframe.

This empowers planners to test various scenarios, such as:
• How can services be re-routed in response to maintenance work?
• How can a proposed service be optioneered to deliver the maximum impact?
• How can socially necessary services be identified to prioritise funding?
• How can proposed housing developments be connected to existing education and
healthcare services?

“PTV Lines is not only ideal for temporary adjustments such as re-routing services during
roadworks, but also can help in delivering long-term strategic planning goals,” explains
Laurence Chittock, Principal Modeller for PTV UK. “It’s perfect for planning an integrated
timetable and can be used to maximise access for crucial destinations, such as hospitals or
education facilities.”

Bus routes often face a catch-22, needing to provide regular and reliable services to attract
demand, but incurring high costs without proper planning. And with the rise of integrated
transport plans like Greater Manchester’s Bee Network and franchising plans from Wales to
West Yorkshire, authorities need to balance a range of factors including cost, service levels,
passenger targets, and travel times. Using PTV Lines enables any authority to test
prospective plans, optimise their services, and improve efficiency, helping to design bus
networks that efficiently integrate into the region’s transport ecosystem.


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