iBus contract

MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Darren Johnson
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Now that the Transport for London Board has agreed to go ahead with a £260m extension of the iBus Communication System, can you ensure it addresses the following:

       It provides bus operators with the ability to limit the maximum speed that matches existing speed limits on bus routes with TfL ensuring these limits are observed   

       Buses currently have an iBus reminder bleep when they pass near a low bridge. Will you ensure that they have a similar bleep when passing through areas with a high number of collisions, or junctions with a large number of cyclists, school children, tourists, and elderly pedestrians?

       Where roads have a recurring problem of collisions, will you ensure that the iBus sets an advisory speed limit of 10mph?

       Will you ensure that iBus headway indicator and screen saver have "Safety is your most important Objective"


Answer for iBus contract

Answer for iBus contract

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The quoted figure of £260 milion is the total value of the 17 year iBus contract, which includes the initial 10 year contract for iBus, and its seven year contract extension. As the extension is for an existing contract, no additional functionality is being provided. 

iBus is an Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system which tracks the position of individual buses for the purposes of service control and the provision of passenger information. The system is not equipped to provide speed limiting functionality.

However, to achieve speed limitation as suggested, TfL will be trialling an Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system on two routes this spring of 2015 for six months, meaning drivers are physically unable to exceed local speed limits when using vehicles fitted with this technology. The purpose of this trial is to understand the potential role of ISA in promoting adherence to speed limits across the road network. If the trial is deemed successful, there is the potential to roll out ISA to other parts of the bus fleet, in addition to the iBus system that is already installed.

The safe operation of London Buses is of paramount concern, and TfL is looking at yet further innovative ways of improving safety across the network, such as the use of pedestrian and cyclist detection equipment. TfL has also considered your suggestion for audible warnings on buses, but there are no plans to introduce these as trials have shown that recurring 'beeps' for too many events are distracting to drivers and can be ineffective if too frequent.