Department for Transport: Buses and Taxis team

PPRO 004/033/021 - Central Data Platform for Bus Open Data: Discovery Phase

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
5 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
17 SME, 8 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Wednesday 6 September 2017
Deadline for asking questions Wednesday 13 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Wednesday 20 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work -Undertake stakeholder mapping exercise-identifying stakeholder gaps and correcting them;
-Undertake discovery sessions with relevant stakeholders;
-Provide user researchers to fully identify and scope out user needs;
-Provide a short written report/a catalogue of user-profiles and user-needs at the end of the phase;
-Provide recommendations/options for Alpha/Beta phases,including solution design suggestions.
Latest start date Monday 23 October 2017
Expected contract length 10 weeks
Location No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for Department for Transport: Buses and Taxis team
Budget range £125,000 - £200,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done As part of the manifesto commitment to improve local bus services, the Department wants to investigate the possibility of setting up a central hub for all local bus travel data. This will then be used to provide developers with a single source of data to create an effective journey planner for customers using accurate and open data.
Problem to be solved This discovery project aims to identify and investigate the users and their needs for this central hub. Elements of the hub have already been identified during preparation for the Bus Services Act, such as real time information. Other elements of the hub, such as the final solution architecture, would need to be defined by the user needs identified by this piece of work. This should result in a short report of findings, and a catalogue of user stories which can then be used to influence project and policy decisions.
Who the users are and what they need to do The hub will have a large number of users. There are hundreds of bus operators and local authorities who would all need to provide data to the hub. There are also users of the data itself, including the Department, developers, and end users (including passengers). Other stakeholders include companies who already provide similar data services in the industry.
Early market engagement The market is aware that the Bus Services Act would mean Government activity to enable open data, although the specifics of the project are not known at this point. The Department has plans to issue communications.
Any work that’s already been done None.
Existing team The existing Open Bus Data programme is being delivered by the Passenger Experience team of Local Transport. It consists of a Programme Manager, a IT Project Manager, and a Policy Lead.
Current phase Not started

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place While some discovery work can be undertaken remotely, most will need to be run as face to face sessions. The Department does not have its own user research lab, so if this is required it will need to be sourced.
Working arrangements The working arrangements will vary depending on the role and the size of the stakeholder group that is being worked with. In some cases 5 days a week may be needed, although is not expected.
Security clearance All contractors’ personnel should be currently cleared to the Authority security clearance level of BPSS as a minimum and must be available to begin work with immediate effect following contract award. Evidence of clearance will be requested at the written proposal stage.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Fortnightly invoicing in arrears, as themes are completed.
At the full proposal stage of the process, the Shortlisted Tenderers will be required to submit a CV along with their full proposal, work history and evidence of Current BPSS Clearance.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of discovery sessions that involve large numbers of stakeholders
  • Knowledge of data platforms and technical architecture
  • Experience of Agile processes and terms
  • Experience of drawing up recommendations and options for alpha/beta on IT and data projects
  • Experience of writing user stories and user profiles
  • Ability to complete discovery within 8 to 10 weeks
  • Experience in identifying stakeholder gaps and knowledge gaps
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of open data projects
  • Knowledge of GDS strategic direction
  • Knowledge/experience of bus services/processes/fares outside of the London area

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Identify the approach to the Discovery project planning and delivery, identifying the main themes and activities proposed to investigate those themes (30%)
  • Detailed resource plan – demonstrating how in-house, supplier and external resource will be used and at what stage (15%)
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs (15%)
  • Estimated timeframes for the work (5%)
  • Demonstrate value for money (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of working as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (5%)
  • Experience of sharing approach, knowledge and skills with other team members and with the department by example (5%)
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Could you tell us if you already have a supplier with "Knowledge/experience of bus services/processes/fares outside of the London area"? We are not currently aware of any supplier who has any knowledge or experience of the bus services outside of the London area .
2. Are you looking only for specific experience of working on bus fare operations or would you consider experience of working with data projects in transport departments/projects? We will happily consider experience of working in either field. The focus during the discovery phase is to define the user needs of any potential data hub, but the data we will be looking at will include bus fares as well as various other aspects of bus journey information so both experiences are relevant.
3. Is it envisaged that the hub will be a data hub such as or TfL Open Data where the main users will be developers creating appropriate apps and expert data users? Part of the work required is to advise on the technical solution once the user research has been completed.
4. Are end users such as passengers likely to be primary users of this data only once it's been repackaged into appropriate apps or sites? i.e. it is important to understand the end user needs in order to identify the data that needs to be maintained on the hub. Yes, we expect the majority of the beneficiaries of the data to be end users (passengers). We do want to discover the passenger needs in this project in order to help determine which data we hold in the hub and to define various parameters of the data.
5. With respect to stakeholders are there other stakeholder groups other than: Providers of data – bus operators, local authorities, other relevant data providers, Users of data – DfT, passengers, developers? No, there are only users and providers of data. You have mentioned most of the user groups with these categories. One of the initial tasks for the winning supplier will be to complete stakeholder mapping to fully identify the stakeholder group.
6. The brief states that most discovery work will be undertaken as face-to-face sessions, with some remote. Are you open to other ways of undertaking this research as well? Yes, we are open to all methods of research so long as they are effective and would welcome suggestions from potential suppliers.
7. Do you have a view on how many stakeholders you anticipate being involved as participants in this research? We have no set number of stakeholders. We are looking for potential suppliers to include in their proposals participant sampling approaches including numbers and strata. For example, a good proposal will aim to research different geographical locations, different size organisations, and varying service types.
8. You state: Experience of discovery sessions that involve large numbers of stakeholders Do you mean experience of holding discovery sessions involving large numbers of stakeholders in each session? or large numbers of stakeholders in total? or experience of holding sessions with a large number / range of types of stakeholder? Any one of the above is acceptable, as long as it is managed effectively. If you have experience with a broad spectrum of stakeholders but prefer to run smaller workshops, then that is fine as long as you can show that you are getting a representative data sample to generate user stories.
9. Do you know to what extent bus data needs to be combined with data from other transport modes? Is this relevant to this Discovery? This discovery phase is in relation to a hub for open bus data only, and does not include any other mode of transport.
10. How much detail around technical architecture would need to be included in solution design suggestions? We are looking for a suggestion only. We would be looking for a diagram or description of the data flow, rather than details of the technical systems and elements the data will be passed through. No knowledge of any existing DfT systems is needed, nor is any detailed technical knowledge.