Open-access public transport timetable archive for Great Britain

With two new open access datasets expanding UBDC's public transport timetable archive for Great Britain, Rafael Verduzco Torres describes their significance and potential research applications:

Up-to-date public transport timetables are essential for helping people navigate cities. Timetables systematically store information about the location of bus stops and stations, when, from where, to which destination, and how often a service will run.

This information is used by popular navigation applications, such as Google Maps and Apple Maps.

Beyond everyday use, these timetables hold significant analytical value. They enable detailed calculations of travel times from single or multiple locations to various destinations. These calculations consider a range of factors, including the time of departure, waiting time, transfers, and on-board time.

Route estimates can be used to define catchment areas around public facilities, such as hospitals or sports centres. They also help calculate the "effective" level of service by considering the location of relevant destinations. For example, this could include the number of jobs accessible within 30 minutes or the shortest travel time to a health facility using public transport.

One example of this is the Accessibility Indicators dataset series, which has been computed for all Great Britain (Verduzco & McArthur,2024; 2024b). You can download datasets here for 2022 and 2023.

Traveline and the Bus Open Data Service are the two biggest organisations dedicated to assembling and sharing local public transport timetables across Great Britain. Their main goal is to provide the latest info for navigation apps, with data being updated daily. Because of this constant updating, we do not have a public repository to compare current public transport service levels with those from the past.

However, being able to make comparisons over time can help evaluate changes in the transport system, such as increased frequencies, extended routes, segregated infrastructure, or other operational adjustments.

Given the importance of this for urban policy evaluation, the transport research group at UBDC has created an automated repository that takes snapshots of public transport timetables twice a week. This system has been implemented since February 2023.

We have released the first batch of this data, covering the first half of 2023. This includes all regions in Great Britain for all bus and local services, like trams and subways.

The Bus Open Data Service can be downloaded in GTFS format from the link below:

The Traveline archive, in TransXChange format, can be downloaded from the following URL:

As the repository grows, we plan to release updated versions of the archive. If you have ideas for collaboration or improvements, feel free to contact Rafael Verduzco at

Related resources

Travel time matrices for great Britain:

Accessibility indicators data descriptor:

Accessibility indicators dataset2022:

Accessibility indicators dataset2023:


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