Bus Fleet Spreadsheet showing wrong routes


I’ve downloaded the latest bus fleet data, dated 30 September 2017, file fleet-online-operational-vehicle-data.xlsx, from https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/bus-fleet-data-and-audits

Using the arrival predictions API I use the reg number of the bus to look up the fleet data to find out if it is a single or double decker. The route from the spreadsheet doesn’t match the API though. For example LX09AZC due to arrive at 490007016S is route 200 but the fleet data says route 163.

How can I be confident the rest of the data is valid?


The answer to your question is surely in the metadata on the page frrm which you downloaded the fleet data:-

“Where a bus route is shown, this is the route the bus was contracted to operate on. As bus operators can (and do) move buses between routes to maintain an effective service, the information cannot be used to work out which buses are operating on a route at any particular date or time.”

Try the London Vehicle Finder at https://lvf.io/ and type in history followed by the registration number. You will see that LX09AZC has operated on a wide variety of routes in recent months. This is absolutely normal and definitely not a sign of dodgy data.


Thanks for taking the time to clarify this for me.

My initial use of this data was for finding out if the buses due were double-deckers, on a route that usually has single-deck buses. This route puts on a double-decker on school days, and can get crowded. I used the route to validate the data. It worked when I originally used this about 6 months ago but, as you point out, this isn’t guaranteed, so can’t be used in this way.


Wade - I think London Vehicle Finder might be just the job for you. It is a very flexible tool. If you type in “163” you get a list of all the buses that a\re running or have run on the route that day and the next stop at which they are due. You get fleet number as well as reg number so it should be easy to spot the double deckers. If you type in “history 163” you get a list of all the buses that have run on the 163 since whenever it was LVF started, along with the most recent day on which they ran. It can microwave pigeons … OK, it can’t do that but it is a real Swiss Army Knife of a tool. I just wish I was clever enough to build something like that!


It’s an interesting website, thanks for telling me about it.

I’m using an iOS Workflow to get the bus details from a sqlite3 database, loaded with the data from the spreadsheet. I then check for OverallHeight > 3m.