Author: samantha.heeks

A vision for streamlined operations: EPM and Omnibus are dedicated to enhancing operator efficiency with new solutions

In the dynamic world of public transport, where efficiency, reliability, and data-driven decision-making are paramount, Velociti Group companies EPM and Omnibus, are making significant strides to transform industry processes. With a rich legacy spanning over three decades, the companies are at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to this complex sector.

Nick Brookes, Software Director at EPM and Omnibus, believes that the companies’ commitment to driving operational efficiency and boosting patronage is evident in their approach to product development with enhancements to existing solutions and plans for a new product — Control360 — which aims to revolutionise service delivery.


Article featured in the Passenger Transport supplement for CPT Scotland Conference 2023.
Evolution of control room solutions

In early 2021, EPM acquired Omnibus, a leading transport software company. Since then, EPM has been working to integrate their solutions to provide more value to customers. Nick emphasises the need to bridge digital capability gaps.

“In the intricate bus operations landscape, effective management is crucial for reliable, high-quality, passenger-focussed services,” he explains. “Our focus on integrating the OmniDAS depot allocation system with our existing operator control room tools marks significant progress. This cloud-based SaaS solution provides operators with real-time visibility of driver and vehicle resources, streamlining resource management and ensuring compliance with regulations and local agreements.”

In a world where operators are increasingly focusing on driver retention and engagement, Nick highlights Omnibus’ innovative driver smartphone app, OmniENGAGE, which fosters improved communication with drivers, boosts driver retention, and facilitates efficient allocation of resources by offering a self-service function that takes the pressure away from depot-based allocation teams.

That self-service system has also been expanded to offer an automated sign-on facility for drivers. Rather than signing on for work at a front desk in a depot, they can instead sign on for work remotely using the app. Geofencing technology ensures accurate tracking of the driver’s location, enhancing operational oversight.

Real-time decision making with OmniDAS

OmniDAS is a cloud-native platform designed to support on-the-day operations with real-time decision-making capabilities for control room staff. It enables operators to swiftly adapt to unforeseen challenges such as driver shortages and unexpected incidents. This semi-automated system ensures that any changes made during the day are accurately logged and processed, providing a single source of truth for payroll and HR records.

Nick highlights EPM’s Insights solution. It complements OmniDAS by offering comprehensive data analysis tools that help identify trends and issues, fostering proactive decision-making and improved service quality.

“This holistic approach to operational efficiency encompasses both planning and execution, ensuring that meticulous pre-planning translates into passenger satisfaction,” he adds.

Control360: a vision for comprehensive service delivery

While Omnibus is enhancing OmniDAS, EPM is developing Control360. It will provide operators with a comprehensive 360-degree view by unifying disparate data sources.

“Critical decisions are frequently made in the control room, and Control360 will facilitate data sharing, enabling operators to uphold their promises of delivering reliable and quality bus services,” revealed Nick. “By consolidating data from various applications, including third-party sources and open data, Control360 will present operators with actionable insights and early warning alerts, reducing the reliance on gut-feel decisions and fostering data-driven operations.”

One key advantage of Control360 is its seamless integration with existing EPM and Omnibus solutions, such as OmniDAS, Customer Resolution Centre and Accident Management systems. This integration streamlines processes, removes data silos, and ensures consistency.

“Control360’s future roadmap includes plans to assess the financial implications of operational changes, helping control room staff make informed decisions that not only improve service quality but also make financial sense,” adds Nick. “This proactive approach will ensure that bus operators are equipped to handle a fast-paced and complex environment effectively.”

A glimpse into the future

EPM and Omnibus are advancing their journey to provide data-driven bus industry solutions. OmniDAS is available, and integration with the EPM Traffic system is complete. The upcoming Control360, though still in development, is set to be a game-changer by consolidating crucial information, ultimately boosting bus service quality and reliability.

As they prepare for a phased launch for Control360 in early 2024, Nick believes operators can look forward to a future where data-driven decisions and efficient resource allocation — backed by improved communication — are the pillars of success.

“Our view is that for operators to be successful there are two sides to the equation,” he concludes. “The first is to become more operationally efficient and the other is in growing patronage and therefore revenue.

“We want to empower operators with data-driven tools that respond to those challenges by optimising resource allocation and responding swiftly to issues. This not only improves service quality but also fosters growth in patronage, ultimately boosting revenue as operators deliver on their promises to passengers and build a reputation for service reliability and quality.”

Building an efficient bus operation

Measuring end-to-end performance

EPM Bus Solutions parent company announces rebrand to Velociti Group

Today, UK-based EPM Transport Solutions, transport technology specialists and parent company of EPM Bus Solutions, Omnibus Solutions, 3Squared, and FabDigital has announced it has rebranded to Velociti Group.


The company launched the new identity, including new name and logo, to better communicate its purpose to deliver innovative software and specialist consultancy to power public transportation. This new fresh identity represents Velociti’s dynamism, agility, and energy.  Along with the brand-new look, Velociti Group’s innovative message is ‘The Future. Accelerated.’

Through pioneering technology and a first-class approach to implementation, Velociti Group tackles the challenges faced by those seeking to create an improved and greener future for customers, operators, and infrastructure owners, in both rail and bus sectors.

Ian Churchill, CEO at Velociti Group, commented: “We are delighted to launch Velociti Group, a new name and vibrant identity that effectively embodies us as a group. Velociti Group encompasses a wealth of heritage and ambition from across the bus and rail sectors and we are pleased to reflect this in our new brand.”

“Velociti Group companies will continue to operate as individual entities while the new group identity will bring them together as a collective, with the combined aim of creating a better future for forward-thinking organisations seeking to improve outcomes in bus and rail transport.”

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The DfT develop transport user personas

The Department for Transport (DfT) has developed a set of transport user personas to help understand the needs, preferences, and behaviour traits of different passengers and ensure the transport system works for everyone. They have developed 12 different personas to reflect 9 groups of people.


These segments were developed from existing research that was validated and updated by a large-scale survey and ethnographic research in 2022, covering the population aged 16 and over in England only. They break up the population into smaller clusters to define their individual traits when using transport.

Read the full story: Transport user personas: Understanding different users and their needs

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New campaign encourages older people to make the most of free bus travel

Older and eligible disabled people are being urged to make the most of free bus travel to meet friends, connect with nature and visit new places this summer, through a new government campaign launched on 15 July 2023.  

The new ‘Take the Bus’ campaign is targeting people aged 66 and above, and disabled people who are eligible for a concessionary pass, to encourage them to use the free bus travel available.

The move comes as statistics show concessionary journeys are down by more than a third since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign reminds passholders of the benefits of using bus travel, including staying active, visiting new places, taking up hobbies and seeing friends and family – while saving money on travel.#

Along with the government’s £2 bus fare cap scheme, the campaign aims to get more people using the bus to help reduce congestion and emissions while supporting the bus industry and helping grow the economy.

Read the full story: New campaign to boost free bus travel this summer

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RTIG webinar: Improving the customer experience effectively and efficiently

With customer expectations rising, ensuring they receive a high quality experience at every touch point in their journey is essential to support patronage growth.

On the 20th of June 2023, Nick Brookes, our Software Director, and Aiden Proctor, Omnibus Product Owner, delivered a presentation at an RTIG event where they discussed the importance of high quality bus stop publicity and customer communications to enhance the customer experience.

eBook – The future of customer service in the bus industry

Our eBook discusses the challenges customer service teams in bus operations face and explores ways bus operators can adapt and enhance their customer service function to thrive in the current climate where the customer experience is key to a successful business.

Complete the below form to download our eBook.

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Our changing travel – how people’s travel choices are changing

The Department for Transport (DfT) commissioned research into public attitudes, travel needs, and behaviours regarding travel following the pandemic and in response to other challenges, such as the rising cost of living and climate change.

The research involved an online survey of a representative sample of 2,345 adults aged 16-75 across England, 10 online focus group discussions in November 2022 to supplement the survey findings and 15 in-depth interviews to follow-up and explore key topics in February 2023.

The report compares data from November 2022 and November 2021 and in the three months immediately before the pandemic period.

Key findings include:

  • In November 2022, just under a third of people (30%) said they avoided public transport due to concerns around Coronavirus, a proportion which had fallen since November 2021 (46%). However, it is notable that nearly a third of people said they did avoid public transport for this reason. Focus group discussions highlighted the importance people placed on adequate ventilation and cleanliness.
  • When people in November 2022 were asked what would encourage them to use public transport more, financial incentives were most mentioned, along with more frequent and punctual services, whilst issues related to Coronavirus (ventilation, low numbers of Coronavirus cases) were mentioned less.
  • A third of people (33%) agreed they found it difficult to choose the most suitable ticket when travelling by public transport. Focus group participants suggested that clearer and more visible information about current ticketing options was needed.

Read the full report: Our changing travel – how people’s travel choices are changing

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£2 bus fare cap extended to 31 October 2023

The ‘Get around for £2’ bus fare cap – previously due to come to an end on 30 June – will now continue until 31 October 2023.

The offer will be available for single bus tickets on over 5,000 routes in England (outside London), helping passengers save a third off the average ticket price.

The scheme will then continue at £2.50 for one year until November 2024, thanks to £200 million in government funding to help people save money on travel while growing the economy.

The move is an essential part of the government’s help for households initiative to support everyone through the increased cost of living and will particularly benefit those on lower incomes who take nearly three times as many bus trips than those on higher incomes.

Read the full article: £2 bus fare cap extended to 31 October

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Webinar: Effectively manage performance across your contracted network to drive service quality and patronage

Measuring the performance of bus operators against desired performance indicators is challenging for most Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) due to the lack of standardised processes to manage the contracted network. This can result in passenger complaints regarding reliability, punctuality, and vehicle suitability.

The ability to benchmark operators on your contracted network depends on bringing together reliable and consistent information on all aspects of performance.

Our webinar, recorded on 27 June 2023, demonstrates how our Contract Performance solution will support you to analyse contract compliance and understand the performance of operators on your contracted network.

We also demonstrate how utilising valuable insights will enable you to work with operators to improve the quality of contracted bus services and drive patronage.

Contract Performance

Drive positive change and improve the passenger experience.

Transport for Wales to improve efficiency of contracted network with adoption of EPM’s Contract Performance solution

Transport for Wales is to improve the performance of their TrawsCymru contracted bus services with the adoption of EPM’s new solution, Contract Performance.

Developed for Local Transport Authorities the system manages all stages of contract procurement, management, and performance analysis in one intuitive platform.

A key aim of Transport for Wales (TfW), a not-for-profit company owned by the Welsh Government, is to improve the quality of the service delivery of their contracted network to encourage people to use public transport.

TfW is keen to manage contract performance efficiently and consistently using the data available from systems that support bus operations to automate monitoring and analysis, rather than it being a manual and time intensive task.

Working in partnership with TfW in overcoming its challenges, EPM designed a powerful solution that enables TfW to manage all stages of contract management, including performance analysis. The solution standardises processes as well as providing them with the capability to benchmark operators against key performance indicators.

The intuitive solution provides an overall performance score for the contracted network and for individual operators using a combination of existing data from EPM and third-party solutions. Bus operators are scored based on three key standards: reliability, driver, vehicle and operator processes, which includes vehicle maintenance.

Integration with the EPM Insights platform provides advanced analytics, the reporting capability allows TfW to drill down into the data and investigate the root cause of any identified issues and gain a deeper understanding of individual operator scores. The powerful management information provides actionable insights to drive network improvements and improve passenger satisfaction.

Lee Robinson, Development Director for Mid, North and Rural Wales at Transport for Wales said, “Our aim at TfW is to make public transport an easy and obvious choice for the people of Wales, to encourage behaviour change and modal shift and support Welsh Government policy direction. We are confident the Contract Performance solution will support us in achieving our goal and that it will provide us with valuable in-depth knowledge and understanding of the TrawsCymru contracted network.

“A key aspect of the platform is monitoring the performance of our contracts and having on-demand visibility of this will enable us to develop improvement plans and ensure a quality service is being delivered to meet the needs of our local communities.”

Nick Brookes, Software Director at EPM Group said, “We’re delighted to have worked with Transport for Wales to develop a solution that addresses their requirements but also helps other local transport authorities across the UK to improve the passenger experience and support growing patronage.”


Contract Performance

Drive positive change and improve the passenger experience.

Reading Borough Council appoints EPM Bus Solutions to administer the new multi-operator ticketing scheme

Reading Borough Council selects EPM Bus Solutions to administer and audit its new multi-operator ticketing scheme ensuring participating bus operators are compensated accurately – providing valuable experience in scheme management.

Reading Borough Council has been awarded funding for its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). Part of its plans to improve bus services across Reading is to introduce a multi-operator ticketing (MOT) scheme, the Reading All-Bus ticket, to allow passengers to seamlessly travel across several operators’ services using one ticket.

The scheme includes adult, young persons, and group tickets with two ticket types – peak and off-peak – and the council will be introducing a tap-on, tap-off day ticket this summer. These ticket prices are set at a lower level than a single operator’s own day tickets in order to generate demand and help with the current cost of living crisis and each operator will receive compensation from Reading Borough Council’s BSIP allocation for each ticket purchased on one of their buses or via their website.

To ensure all participating operators are reimbursed accurately and on time Reading Borough Council has appointed EPM to administer and audit the scheme. As administrators, EPM will periodically allocate the scheme revenue along with the compensation payments, ensuring the payments being made to participating operators are accurate and the BSIP funds allocated to this initiative are accounted for.

As part of their service, EPM will provide Reading Borough Council and the operators with patronage data from each of the scheme products. The data provided enables Reading Borough Council to track the performance of the scheme and identify trends, the data can also be used for BSIP reporting.

Bi-annual audits of operator submissions will also be conducted, this involves an in-depth interrogation of the data to ensure revenue and passenger data align and provides further assurance that all participants have been accurately reimbursed.

John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy and Transport at Reading Borough Council said: “We’re excited to be introducing the Reading All-Bus ticket to make travel simpler for the people of Reading. Keeping track of the scheme and ensuring operators are paid correctly, as well as complying with our own reporting requirements, can be a complex and time-intensive task.

“EPM has the dedicated resource and extensive skillset to seamlessly administer and audit the scheme. This will relieve some of the pressure off our transport team and gives us more time to focus on implementing our other bus improvement commitments.”

Jon Anton, Consulting Director at EPM said, “We’re delighted to be working with Reading Borough Council to administer their new multi-operator ticketing scheme. Our comprehensive knowledge of multi-operator ticketing schemes enables us to seamlessly implement processes and provide assurance to stakeholders that all bus operators participating are paid what they are owed.”


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