Request ID: FOI-1875-2223 Date published: 23 November 2022
Dear Transport for London,
Please forward the following relating to bus cab MDT equipment.
1) iBus Broadcast levels and technical data pertaining to broadcasts for both NMCC as well as individual garage work stations to specifically state broadcast volume levels regarding the system infrastructure.
2)Health and Safety completed risk assessments to monitor levels being within H&S guidelines and the risk elimination of Occupational Hearing Loss.
3) Number of reports to TSG from operators as per the ibus defect reporting process regarding volume levels being too loud.
This is for the date period of 01/01/2020 until todays date of 03/11/22.
TfL Ref: 1875-2223
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 3 November 2022 asking for information about the Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs), installed in bus drivers cabs for iBus system announcements.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require. You asked for:
1) iBus Broadcast levels and technical data pertaining to broadcasts for both NMCC as well as individual garage work stations to specifically state broadcast volume levels regarding the system infrastructure. We can advise that Gateway frequency settings are currently set at the following decibel levels: +3db ‘Receive’ into bus garages and -10db on ‘Transmit’ from garages.
The Network Management Control Centre (NMCC) frequency levels are set at: +5db ‘Receive’ into NMCC and -10db on ‘Transmit’ from the NMCC to London Buses vehicles.
Additionally, TfL recently completed a period of active call monitoring from the NMCC; if more than ten unique tickets were raised between Wednesday 16 November 2022 and Friday, 18 November 2022 at 12:00, a multi-party agreement is put in place to revisit audio settings. Representatives from our Technology & Data team were on location with the NMCC at various points during this monitoring period to assess sentiment in the room to gather feedback and address any issues that arose.
2) Health and Safety completed risk assessments to monitor levels being within H&S guidelines and the risk elimination of Occupational Hearing Loss.
Transport for London does not conduct specific Health & Safety risk assessments based on audio levels.
3) Number of reports to TSG from operators as per the ibus defect reporting process regarding volume levels being too loud. A review of over 2000 incidents took place on 17 November 2022 and resulted in two calls specifically pertaining to NMCC broadcast levels. The following search specific criteria was used as part of this review:
Dates: 1 January 2020 onwards
Customer Information - iBus - Passenger Information
Anything containing “NMCC”
Anything containing “Centrecomm”
Anything containing “Broadcast”
Anything containing “loud”
Anything containing “too loud”
Anything containing “excessive”
Anything containing “Audio”
Anything containing “Level”
Anything containing “volume”
The first call, recorded under reference: 725654, was made on 7 November 2022 to the NMCC about excessively loud broadcast calls, post upgrade of the Buses Integrated Command and Control System. The dates, times and bus routes concerned are listed below:
The second call, (reference:548577), made on 17 January 2022, was about the high volume of the automated passenger announcements on the wearing of masks, which were broadcast on the Dennis Enviro, Metroline buses based at Potters Bar Garage
If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.
Jasmine Howard FOI Case Officer FOI Case Management Team General Counsel Transport for London