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  • To ensure all passes were in school on the first day of term for the first time in living memory was a tremendous result on its own, even without the monetary saving.

    Brian J Garner, GeoData Project Manager, Liverpool Direct Limited

Liverpool saves £50 000 by using geography to automate the allocation of pupil bus passes and confirm eligibility across the city.

The challenge

Over 5 000 pupils in Liverpool were eligible for a bus pass as they lived more than three miles from their school (or over two miles if they were under eight years old). The old system for bus pass allocation was inefficient and time-consuming as it relied upon the parents of eligible pupils to claim the bus pass in writing. Once forms were received, officers had to check and measure each request individually and despite employing additional temporary staff the section did not stabilise until mid December. Their target was to ensure all requests were processed before the start of the new school term in September.

The solution

The GeoData team at Liverpool Direct Limited (a joint venture between Liverpool City Council and BT®) was tasked with the creation of a solution. Geographic information from Ordnance Survey was used as a base to accurately plot the location of both existing bus pass holders due for renewal and all pupils about to transfer into secondary schools. Shortest Walking Distances (SWD) from home to school gates were then measured thousands at a time in ’batch mode’. The results were back loaded into the admin database so that letters could then be automatically generated and sent to each eligible household early enough to ensure that all passes were distributed by September. This process was better for the citizen and saved huge amounts of officer time as it removed the need to check and measure individual requests. In addition the process identified a number of bus pass holders who were not eligible due to the actual distance from the school or, in a few examples, did not actually live in Liverpool!

The benefits

  • £50 000 cost savings delivered (less officer time spent checking/measuring, fewer appeals, reduction in calls/increased call centre availability and the clarification of eligibility).
  • Reuse of existing data not capture again
  • Meeting of statutory obligations under the National Coordinated Admissions scheme.
  • Ongoing collaboration with Capita and their routing system to replicate efficiencies year on year.
  • Provision of bus passes to eligible pupils by the start of the school term – for the first time in living memory.

The products used

Download this case study PDF – 264kB


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