The measurement of vehicle occupancy for buses in real time is not something that was carried out regularly or, was in widespread use in the UK until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of 2020, significant work was carried out and progress made, by suppliers and bus operators to introduce passenger counting solutions and present the information to passengers.
Advice was provided in RTIGT039 Providing Vehicle Occupancy Data:- Data Interfaces in May 2020.
At the same time, work was underway to produce the next iteration of the SIRI standard to address existing development requirements from the industry - two of which were capacity and occupancy data at a more detailed level than was possible in SIRI v2.0q. The new requirements that emerged from the pandemic were added.
The technical development of SIRI v2.1 was completed in March 2021 and the schema is available through http://github.com/SIRI-CEN/SIRI as the ‘Integration’ branch. This will in due course be published as the master. The supporting documentation will take some time to progress through the formal CEN release processes but at the time of writing, it is expected to be released during late 2021.
In advance of this, and because of the urgency of the requirements to support passenger use of public transport, this report has been produced detailing the changes to occupancy data in SIRI v2.1