Init updates technology on London buses

  • March 18, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

German transport technology firm Init is providing on-board, back office and support services for London’s buses.

Transport for London (TfL) awarded the contract through Init’s subsidiary in Nottingham, UK.

Init will provide an on-board computer and ancillary devices for all buses in TfL’s vehicle fleet. The technology will be used to help manage operations on more than 8000 buses running around 700 bus routes and serving over 19,000 bus stops across Greater London.

The existing automatic vehicle location (AVL) system for the London bus network will be replaced under this contract. The result should be enhanced reliability of service and higher quality customer information.

“We are very proud to be selected by TfL as the supplier for the next generation of the iBus system,” said Jens Mullak, Init managing director. “This confirms that our long-term technology strategy has been positively recognised. The new system will have a modular open technology platform that is scalable and accommodates TfL’s future development ambitions. We are delighted that TfL joins our existing customer group of more than 1100 public transport organisations worldwide. Our team is looking forward to working with TfL to deliver a world-class on-bus hardware and back office for London.”

The design philosophy for the replacement system is based on an open architecture modular platform, built around APIs and open IT standards such as MQTT or ITxPT. The system can evolve over time as needs and technology trends evolve, allowing flexibility to add modules without redesigning existing core options. Init says its use of industry standards ensures interoperability, security and ease of integration with existing systems:

  • Open architecture based on Restful APIs, third-party integration
  • Horizontally scalable, the correct size for every user
  • Near real-time data processing for operational performance measures
  • Data broker and open APIs for real-time passenger information (MQTT)
  • Information technology for public transport (ITxPT) standards for flexible vehicle architecture

This innovation is the culmination of more than six years’ focus to develop an open fleet management platform that includes customisable tools and services that may be consumed either in the cloud or in a conventional environment.

TfL ( is the integrated transport authority responsible for delivering London ‘s strategy and commitments on transport. It runs the day-to-day operation of the capital’s public transport network, including London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, London Buses and Elizabeth Line services, as well as promoting walking and cycling and managing London’s main roads.

Init ( has been assisting transport companies in making public transport more attractive, reliable and more efficient for more than 40 years. Third-party systems can be integrated thanks to open and standardised interfaces. More than 1100 transport authorities and providers use Init’s hardware and software.