A new information board, modelled on one at Lancaster University, pointing travellers in the right direction is the result of an innovative partnership between Lancaster University, Lancaster City Council and United Utilities using TransportAPI data.

It’s been fantastic to be able to give something back to the community in this way.

Chris Dixon, Lancaster University

Following the removal of the previous departure boards by Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee investigated the issue and initiated talks with Lancaster University and Stagecoach to look at options for replacement signage. Using TransportAPI for its data, Lancaster University Information Systems Services (ISS) had already developed a similar solution for the university underpass and used their know-how to design a similar system for Lancaster Bus Station. Water company United Utilities agreed to fund the project as a thank you to the local community for putting up with major road works.

The new system uses TransportAPI data to power the university’s iLancaster mobile phone platform and a modern LCD screen to display bus departures. And according to Chris Dixon, Lancaster University’s Head of Service Delivery and Operations, it’s been a win-win situation:

“It’s been fantastic to be able to give something back to the community in this way. Projects like this demonstrate what the university is about. Innovating and then taking that innovation and learning to the wider community. Now not only users travelling to the university, but the public can benefit and, once again, have access to a much needed service.”

Bus use among Lancaster University students is now up by more than a quarter and more than two thirds of students living off campus now commute to university by bus. And its a bonus for staff as well where bus usage has increased by 17% to just a quarter of all staff using public transport.