Author Topic: Guided busway - bus stop information  (Read 121 times)

Offline barryb

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Guided busway - bus stop information
« on: February 02, 2020, 12:20:44 AM »
I'm back from my usual January holiday in Estonia, and as usual I'm grumpy about how badly we do public transport in a rich country!

At my local guided busway stop we can find:
- A large poster timetable with correct departure times and final destinations (but no other route information)
- A large vinyl map from 2018 showing incorrect route information
- A poster duct-taped to the shelter with partial correct route information (presented in a misleading way)
- A vandalised and out of use ticket machine that apparently cost £35000, now serving no purpose
- An accessible touch screen device with a mixture of scheduled and live departure information showing the correct destination, but also with incorrect route information from a different date to that on the poster
- A dot matrix indicator with a mixture of scheduled and live departure information showing the correct destination

And on our mobile devices:
- A website for the guided busway, which you may have found from the branding on the bus stop.  It has two different up to date route maps, one of which is incomplete and the other of which is misleading with respect to the R.  It has a timetable that is out of date, and which doesn't help solve the mystery regarding the R.
- A stagecoach app.  It seems to use a different (or more reliable and up to date) source of live information to Google.  It has a journey planning function but no complete timetables.  You cannot access stop information for a stop that it adjudges to be too far away (so for example you can't see whether to get off a train at Cambridge or Cambridge North based on whether buses are running on time), and of course it only shows Stagecoach services.
- A Cambridgeshire Council app, which shows other operators (if this is a bonus) and which isn't petty about showing you information from non-local stops, it has live travel information but not full timetables or journey planning
- Google maps.  It has nice information for stops, and for a while it was more up to date in that respect than the dot matrix displays.  The live travel information isn't as good, for some reason.  It doesn't cope with the DfT / Traffic Commissioner registration splitting nonsense that we alone in Europe do because of "European rules".
- The Stagecoach website: only source of readable and complete up to date timetable
- Traveline and other websites using that data source: only source of complete timetables for all operators, but may not be readable due to registration splitting.

At a bus stop in Estonia there are the following sources of information:

At *every* stop:
- A sign in an identical format stating a name for the stop that is unique to the town (there a lot of "station" stops, but as long as you know what place you're in you're sorted!)
- A small piece of paper behind a plastic cover on a metal plate, giving (for each route that serves the stop) the stops served by the route and the times of departures (so not arrival times)

On your mobile device, covering entire country
- An app linking to a presentation of data from a central source that has complete information about scheduled services (also includes rail / tram / trolley buses and internal ferries).  There are no operator specific apps (it would admittedly be nice if there was a way of aggregating information for "corridors", information other than by individual service is only to be found in a journey planning function).
- For the capital and larger towns: Above includes live running information

At main termini in larger towns and a few very busy stops
- a dot matrix indicator similar to those here with either live or scheduled departure information

Is is possible that simpler and more centralised might be better? 

Stagecoach's local company left Estonia in a huff (carrying €5k in cash from a very very partial court victory after 18 months of arguing) after finding that they'd indeed have to become part of an integrated and centrally overseen public transport system in a way that they didn't want to.  .  I think Estonia actually won.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 02:11:10 AM by barryb »