First Bus partners with Optibus to complete rollout of new digital scheduling software across its UK bus operations

Abigail Levner

Abigail Levner

September 6, 2022
  • First Bus and Optibus have been working in partnership since 2018 to develop technological solutions that improve the lives of their frontline staff. 
  • Optibus’ advanced AI system allows the two parties to discover efficiencies and improve roster design and shift patterns for frontline staff. 
  • The Optibus system has been rolled out across the entire First Bus UK operations, supporting dozens of schedulers managing 4,000 vehicles across the UK. 


First Bus, one of the UK’s largest bus operators, has teamed up with Optibus, the end-to-end software for public transportation planning and operations, to complete the digital transformation of First Bus’ scheduling data, processes, and systems across all UK operations. 

The roll-out of Optibus across First Bus will enable all of its operating companies (OpCos) to improve the service and operational efficiency of 4,000 buses across Glasgow, Bristol, Essex, Yorkshire, Cornwall, and more, leading to improved services for over 1 million daily passengers and smoother, faster work processes for dozens of schedulers. 

First Bus UK’s migration to Optibus has achieved significant operational savings across all of First Bus’ UK operations, as well as simplified the process of making network changes and improved the lives of schedulers. First Bus now has the capability to be more agile with network decision making and explore enhancement to work patterns and rosters using advanced duty optimisation algorithms and an automated rostering product, bringing real-time and localised solutions to the UK public transport industry. 

Optibus General Manager, EMEA, Dave Joshua (left) and First Bus Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Pearson (right) at the First Bus offices.

Optibus General Manager, EMEA, Dave Joshua (left) and First Bus Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Pearson (right) at the First Bus offices. Photograph by Photographer London.

First Bus Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Pearson, said: “We are delighted to have rolled out Optibus’ innovative new software across our UK business. The implementation will improve the lives of our staff and our customers whilst making us more agile as a business in facing challenges and delivering the best possible service. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the team at Optibus to discover opportunities for improvement and to push the UK public transport industry forward.”

First Bus and Optibus share the vision of more efficient public transportation operations. In this regard, as a long-time partner of Optibus, First Bus has shaped Optibus’ products just as much as Optibus has shaped First Bus’ UK operations. 

Over the course of their five-year partnership, First Bus has tested many new Optibus features in live environments, helping to tailor the product to real-life scenarios and unique challenges faced by operators across the United Kingdom, spanning electric vehicle deployment, cost efficiency, and effective network redesign to meet new travel patterns.

Optibus General Manager, EMEA, Dave Joshua, said: “Making public transportation better requires input from operators, drivers, and schedulers on the frontlines of daily operations. First Bus has been a valuable partner in helping Optibus to develop custom technological solutions for the UK public transport market, and beyond. We are grateful for their insight and are proud to count them as one of our partners in making public transportation better, together.”

Topics: Announcements, Transportation