On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user

Transport Authorities

Reading time: 5 minutes.

Because of their usefulness when it comes to tracking down public transport information, I wanted to add a page on here for Transport Authorities for a while. There aren’t as many of them in existence, and they tend to manage things for major metropolitan areas, taking over from local authorities as they do so. These also seem to be growing a little in number as Combined Authorities get set in place; that may mean more of them if that trend continues.

Manchester Metroshuttle

If TfGM (see below) covered all of East Cheshire as well as its current patch, I couldn’t see Cheshire East Council offering a bus timetable library like it currently does. If a transport authority did the oversight instead of a borough council could be interesting, it even might improve things for us out here too. The same could apply to Cheshire West & Chester with Merseytravel being the substitute over there.


Given that this ITA (MITA) looks after an area sitting astride a river estuary, it should come as no surprise that ferry and under-river tunnel information gets on here. Naturally, you’ll find timetable libraries, a journey planner and travel news available too. Even though most if not all the services are provided by private operators, it does seem as if this authority has a tight rein on things too with the Merseyrail being a franchise that they, rather than the Department for Transport, let and that’s unusual in England.


In West Yorkshire, their ITA (WYITA) uses another name, Metro, and its logo and branding are to be found on local train services operated by Northern Rail too. When it comes to public transport information, it’s got the lot with bus and train timetable libraries, travel news and journey planning all being part of the offer.


TWITA is the ITA in the Tyneside and Wearside with Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland falling under its sway. The website is operated by its transport executive and provides the information needed to get about light and heavy rail, bus and ferry services in the region. While journey planning and travel news complement timetable libraries there is an added distinctive feature in the form of visitor information for those coming from further afield, and it highlights places to visit too.


The first time that I noticed the logo of the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport was when I was from Edinburgh, where I lived at the time, to some scenic corner of the Scottish Highlands. One thing that you’ll notice from the website is that there are quite a few modes of travel covered, including even walking as well as ferries and the Glasgow Subway. Timetable libraries aren’t so extensive though but there are bus timetables for supported services. Other than that, there’s the usual journey planning and travel news provision that appears on so many transport authority websites.

Transport for Cornwall

This is a newer entity than others, and one with a feel reminiscent of Transport for London with red liveries used on bus services. Handily, there is a single timetable booklet for the whole area too. That really helps since there is something of a tourist magnet, especially during the summer season. Train travel does not go unmentioned either, and there are day ranger tickets available for bus and rail too.

Transport for Greater Manchester

This is the current name for what was known as GMPTE, the executive and operational arm of GMITA and its predecessor, GMPTA. That probably looks like alphabet soup but just hover over the acronyms to see the words represented by those collections of letters. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why a new name might appeal though you have to ask why other name changes were good ideas.

Despite all those dull acronyms and changing titles, this quite possibly is THE one place for public transport information in the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester and very good it seems to be too. Along with travel news for bus, tram and train services, there’s a journey planner and a bus timetable library too. As if that weren’t enough, there’s even a bus stop finder on there.

Transport for London

Amid bus service deregulation around the U.K. nearly 25 years ago, things were done differently in London with all bus services being franchised by the transport authority rather than being offered by private operators. That has meant some rather big changes in fortunes over the years with previously successful companies falling on hard times (the now Stagecoach re-owned East London group comes to mind here). There is such an assortment of travel modes covered here that it becomes difficult to list them all. Even congestion charging, taxis and walkers get mentioned, so it cannot be said that the site isn’t comprehensive. Of course, journey planning, timetable libraries and travel news are all on offer as well as the more unexpected elements.

Travel South Yorkshire

Even as long ago as the 1970’s, Sheffield and its surrounding area seemed to have good public transport oversight and the present SYITA wants to restore the situation somewhat though they have suffered something of a setback with First withdrawing from an agreement. Live bus timing information is to be found here along with bus timing updates, journey planning and travel news.

Transport for West Midlands

There was a time when Central Trains provided services around Birmingham and the West Midlands emblazoned with Centro branding. Network West Midlands is the successor to this with WMITA being the transport authority in these times. As you’d expect, there are timetable libraries (for bus, tram and train), a journey planner and travel news. Mind you, making people know their bus number beforehand isn’t always the best…


This is a recently instated entity operating at the behest of North Somerset Council and of the West of England Combined Authority to oversea public transport across Bath, North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The main focus appears to be on bus services and community transport so far, though there is a mention of rail in the alerts section of the website. Bus timetable information is available as long as you know your route numbers, hardly the best of ways to survey what is available.