Category: Transport Authorities

EPM and Omnibus Solutions, part of Velociti Group, announce Adrian Hipkiss as new Chief Executive Officer

25 January 2024 – Velociti Group, a leading software and specialist consultancy serving the public transport sector, is pleased to announce the appointment of Adrian Hipkiss as its new Chief Executive Officer. With a proven track record of leading and scaling technology organisations, Adrian brings a fresh perspective and strategic vision to lead the Velociti Group through its next phase of growth. 


Adrian Hipkiss, new Velociti Group CEO

Adrian has held several executive leadership positions, and joins Velociti Group with an impressive background of driving revenue and profitability whilst leading strategic transformation. Having held key roles in Ceragon Networks, Tata Communications and ShoreTel, Adrian brings his exceptional leadership, strategic planning, and a commitment to driving the innovation that will help Velociti succeed in its mission to deliver fast and lasting digital transformation in passenger transport.

Velociti Group, known for its commitment to delivering software and strategic services in bus and rail transport, sees Adrian’s appointment as a strategic move to capitalise on emerging opportunities in the transport sector. His leadership is expected to play a pivotal role in shaping the future trajectory of the group and to drive synergies across the businesses, fostering collaboration and innovation to propel Velociti Group to new heights.

Adrian Hipkiss said, “I am delighted to be joining Velociti Group at a time when the transport sector is undergoing such rapid transformation. Velociti Group businesses are well-positioned to take hold of the huge opportunities that digital transformation in transport presents.”

Jim Darragh, Velociti Group Chairman, said, “We are hugely excited by the appointment of Adrian, he brings an incredible track record of commercial growth and building great teams.”


Notes for Editors

For more information about Velociti Group and its portfolio of companies, please visit

Contact: Kerry Chapman

About Velociti Group:

Velociti Group is committed to transforming public transport, providing bus and rail operators with technology, implementation services and support backed by deep expertise of the transport sector.  Velociti offers the future ready technology, client side-experience, implementation expertise and bespoke consultancy services that power public transport and are focused on one outcome – customer success.

Velociti Group is comprised of diverse portfolio of companies specialising in various aspects of the bus and rail operations. The group comprises:

  1. EPM Bus Solutions: A leading provider of unique software and consultancy services for the bus industry, EPM Bus Solutions focuses on enhancing operational and commercial efficiency, and passenger experience.
  2. Omnibus Solutions: As a key player in the transport technology space, Omnibus specialises in developing advanced software solutions to efficiently plan and deliver services.
  3. 3Squared: Known for its expertise in railway technology, 3Squared is at the forefront of providing cutting-edge solutions to enhance the efficiency and safety of rail operations.
  4. Fab Digital: A dynamic player in the digital transformation arena, Fab Digital focuses on leveraging technology to revolutionise the rail industry’s communications with passengers.

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

2023 reflections and the year ahead

UK bus industry in 2023 and the year ahead

The UK Bus industry is ever-evolving and 2023 has been a year of marked change. This year has witnessed the sector navigating challenges, such as the lingering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and driver shortages, to the ever-present call for greener and more efficient modes of transport. As we approach 2024, we believe the central themes guiding the upcoming year and beyond will revolve around collaboration and adaptability.


UK bus industry in 2023 and the year ahead

To franchise, or not to franchise?

Franchising has undeniably taken centre stage in the narrative of 2023. Introduced in Manchester for the first time since deregulation, this transformative trend looks set to shape the years ahead with Liverpool City Region and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), amongst others, planning to follow suit. With a growing number of councils bracing for upcoming elections, the widespread adoption of the franchise model seems increasingly inevitable. Yet, as this momentum builds, it is important to consider alternative approaches. By leveraging best practices and enhancing the established systems and processes within operators’ existing networks, there’s an opportunity to transition toward a more collaborative future involving Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) and operators.

Against this backdrop and with funding potentially tightening in 2024, bus operators and LTAs must adopt a prudent approach, carefully managing financial resources to ensure operation of the most efficient services possible. The notable upswing in patronage observed this year underscores the need for a sustained and proficient operation. Collaborative efforts between bus operators and LTAs will play a pivotal role, with the latest technology helping to empower LTAs and operators with the intelligence and insights required to fulfil their commitments and uphold network responsibilities effectively.

Incentivised travel and BSOG reform

The introduction of the £2 bus fare cap in England, not only incentivised bus travel but made it affordable for millions of passengers struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. Introduced as a £2 flat rate fare outside of London until November 2024, the measure has helped to increase patronage post-Covid. However, unless a transitional arrangement is introduced at the end of the current initiative, a potential cliff-edge scenario could see fares increase substantially at the end of 2024, hitting millions of passengers in the pocket and reducing patronage.

The BSOG funding process is set to be reformed, with the Department of Transport and industry bodies set to shape the future of the scheme with a focus on incentivising zero emission vehicles and additional funding for rural services. Depending on the approach, and considering work carried out by EPM in collaboration with Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), changes to the current funding mechanism could have significant winners and losers. With a general election next year it is likely that any reform measures decided on in 2024 will not be implemented until Spring of the following year.

Flexible timetables to meet changing work patterns

Travel patterns have changed, characterised by an uptake in remote work and an increase in leisure travel. Therefore, there is a greater need for LTAs and bus operators to understand these changing behaviours. Timetables need to be fluid and flexibly planned to capitalise on emerging trends and to effectively meet the fluctuating demand. This ensures that the changing needs of customers are not only understood but also met.

Driver shortages

This year has seen a shortage of drivers continue to blight the industry. The CPT has identified that almost 1 in 10 bus driver positions are vacant in the UK which has led to a drop in the number of deliverable services. With attributing factors such as long hours and exhausting shift patterns, there is a need for operators to build stronger relationships with their drivers to address this ongoing challenge. Establishing open communication is vital, and leveraging data becomes paramount in understanding and contextualising driver performance. Additionally, adopting driver-centric technologies can prove instrumental in enhancing driver relations by empowering them to access their schedules remotely and easily request time off or overtime.

Innovation to attract more passengers

The key challenge for bus operators and local authorities in 2024 will be to continue to attract customers. Initiatives such as multi-operator ticketing (MOT) and tap on tap off (TOTO) make bus travel a more attractive proposition, encouraging travel and repeat journeys. However, the key metrics of affordability and reliability will determine the continued success and viability of operations. Amid escalating costs and rising customer expectations, on-the-day decision-making will be critical in ensuring service quality. This demands an evolution of control room systems to provide a complete, holistic view of operations in real-time, helping controllers get ahead of problems on the network and proactively find solutions.

The year ahead

2023 has been a dynamic and transformative period for the industry, marked by challenges and significant developments. As we look ahead to 2024, collaboration emerges as a central theme, with franchising gaining prominence and funding set to reshape the sector.

Technology will play an increasingly important role, helping bus operators and LTAs to successfully navigate these challenges and help the bus industry to go from strength to strength.

Solutions to support the year ahead:

  • For planning and managing franchise networks ETM DAS and Contract Performance.
  • To improve driver retention and communication a driver app such as OmniENGAGE.
  • Empowering control room teams to efficiently manage and resolve on-the-day issues to deliver a quality bus service, as well as achieve significant cost-savings with Control360.
  • Data / intelligence streamlined with Insights providing management teams with a comprehensive view, enabling them to make well-informed decisions.
  • Flexible timetable display solution, OmnSTOPdesign, allows for efficient and cost-effective turnaround for roadside publicity.

Ready to start driving forward in 2024? Get in touch to build a tailored solution today

Powering the future of your bus operations

Grow patronage, boost revenue, and drive operational efficiency.

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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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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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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CILT webinar: Building an efficient bus operation and retaining drivers

The bus industry is navigating its way through a challenging operating environment with changes in travel routines and driver shortages making the demand for bus services increasingly complex. To overcome these challenges, bus operators need to become more operationally efficient.

The live webinar which was delivered on the 17th January in conjunction with the CILT UK, Nick Brookes, our Software Director, and Aiden Proctor, Omnibus Product Owner, discussed how bus operators can make their transport business more efficient whilst retaining and engaging their workforce.

eBook – Building an efficient bus operation in today’s world

Our eBook discusses how to measure the performance of each of the components which make up an efficient, profitable, and sustainable bus operation.

Complete the below form to download our eBook.

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Solutions certified on Government’s G-Cloud 13 Framework

EPM and Omnibus, companies of Velociti Group, are certified on the new Crown Commercial Services ‘G-Cloud 13 framework’ which went live in November 2022.

The G-Cloud Digital Marketplace is an online service allowing public sector organisations to buy cloud software and services from approved suppliers. The framework is an agreement between government and suppliers of cloud services. Buying services through the framework is faster and more cost-effective than entering into individual procurement contracts.

Public sector bodies can purchase the following services from us via the Digital Marketplace:

Access EPM and Omnibus on GOV.UK Digital Marketplace.

Read more on the Crown Commercial Service.

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