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Bus Displays - real time departures (on bus itself)

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kez19

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This thread is probably a bit stupid but I just spotted on Flickr that on Go North East on the bus display it now tells you its departing in a certain time? (I know in another thread I slagged off the bus in question) but is this new or has it been going awhile? (Just a note looking on the companies pics on Flickr it seems to be these buses in particular doing it-- correct me if need be or if this will be a new trend next?)

 
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Robertj21a

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This thread is probably a bit stupid but I just spotted on Flickr that on Go North East on the bus display it now tells you its departing in a certain time? (I know in another thread I slagged off the bus in question) but is this new or has it been going awhile? (Just a note looking on the companies pics on Flickr it seems to be these buses in particular doing it-- correct me if need be or if this will be a new trend next?)

Common in some places abroad.
 

py_megapixel

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I think it's a good idea in principle. But whether it should take priority over route information, I'm in two minds about. (It looks like it is taking up the space that would usually be occupied by a scrolling list of the places it serves).

However, I must say that bus doesn't look particularly attractive...
 

kez19

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Common in some places abroad.

I never knew that, I wonder if its being trialled out with Go North East?

I think it's a good idea in principle. But whether it should take priority over route information, I'm in two minds about. (It looks like it is taking up the space that would usually be occupied by a scrolling list of the places it serves).

However, I must say that bus doesn't look particularly attractive...


The only thing I think which maybe an issue though is like the picture as an example are we really going to see stop at every bus stop saying "depart 2 seconds" or unless its just for where its arriving/departing?

I'm a bit familar with that route so at a guess it departs Saltwell Park to display "60 secs to depart", then on Market Street similar thing (at a guess here)
 

Boo_

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I posted other day that Diamond Bus North West new StreetLite`s are kitted out with this.
But drivers have to be bothered to activate so it does not happen.
The system is not automatic well not on the new buses here.
 

kez19

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I posted other day that Diamond Bus North West new StreetLite`s are kitted out with this but drivers have to be bothered to activate so it does not happen. The system is not automatic well not on the new buses here.


At a guess its not a "real time" departure screen, if it has to be activated, or possibly down to driver discretion(?).
 

peterblue

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Some other operators do it as well - Transdev certainly do - but it's a fairly rare occurrence at the moment.

I'm not a fan of it as it obscures the list of destinations served by the bus. Likewise I'm also not a fan of "wear a face covering" etc style messages blocking vital route information. Not everyone would have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the places served on a particular route.
 

NorthOxonian

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I never knew that, I wonder if its being trialled out with Go North East?




The only thing I think which maybe an issue though is like the picture as an example are we really going to see stop at every bus stop saying "depart 2 seconds" or unless its just for where its arriving/departing?

I'm a bit familar with that route so at a guess it departs Saltwell Park to display "60 secs to depart", then on Market Street similar thing (at a guess here)
I don't know why it would be displaying a departure time at that bus stop. I grew up on the route and that stop isn't a timing point or anything, it's a relatively quiet stop serving one of the more residential parts of the route.

That feature will be most useful at Market Street and Gateshead Interchange, where waits are more common. I've known the bus wait for nearly ten minutes at the latter, and quite often I'd rush to the bus stop thinking it was about to go, only to find it sitting there for ages. It can't see it being used at other stops - the only other point buses sometimes wait is by the Cemetery (the Saltwell Park stops are at the end of a narrow-ish street and I assume the bus doesn't wait there because it might cause congestion).

As for the wider point, I've seen this on a few Transdev services, particularly their higher end routes like the 36. It's quite useful, especially on less frequent departures out of Leeds - if you know you're bus isn't going for ten minutes, then you've got time to grab supplies for what can be a very long journey. As mentioned, I'll look forward to this feature when visiting home, it'll save me a fair bit of stress at Gateshead Interchange!

Some other operators do it as well - Transdev certainly do - but it's a fairly rare occurrence at the moment.

I'm not a fan of it as it obscures the list of destinations served by the bus. Likewise I'm also not a fan of "wear a face covering" etc style messages blocking vital route information. Not everyone would have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the places served on a particular route.
Fair point, especially on this route which is a circular one. Notice how the departure display says "Saltwell Park" - that is the next stop, but the bus will also continue to Gateshead and then Newcastle. From that particular area, you'd use the bus in that direction for the former and some parts of the latter. But someone less informed could ignore it assuming it was only going to the park without realising it went any further.
 

Boo_

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I don't understand how come there only London is using Ibus system. As it could be used in other areas as the costs are paid for in Development now so it should be cheap to rollout the tech. and with ibus things like bus stops and Information On screens can be controlled better and does not need driver to touch the system with it all done by driver putting in duty number into bus and could even tell driver to wait at bus stops till time..
 

toffeedanish

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As others have noted, Transdev has been doing this for a while. Particularly noticeable at Keighley, where at the bus station every bus seems to depart at precisely the correct time. This is much better than most other locations I am familiar with. Whilst I'm sure good management and rostering have much to do with it, one could conclude that the system gives the drivers a prompting. Not here the common sight elsewhere of a driver wandering across five minutes late already with a coffee yet to prepare and load.
 

charley_17/7

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Metrobus in Crawley provide real time train departures info when approaching Three Bridges, Crawley, Horsham stations, but not for connecting buses, so have to look that up on the app, which often has incorrect times/duplicate schedules.
 

Andyh82

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Like others have said, Transdev have been doing that on their top tier routes.

GNE seem to be becoming Transdev MkII in many ways to be fair, X Lines looks very Transdev-Esque.
 

Stan Drews

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The initial roll out of this feature on destination displays required a manual input from the driver, however the technology is advancing all the time, and it can now be automated to display without manual intervention from the driver.
The most recent interior next stop displays (as used by Transdev) also have the ability to show real time departure times of potential connecting buses from key forthcoming stops on the route i.e. bus stations.
 

Flange Squeal

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I believe it’s a feature of the Mobitec system. A local independent to me, White Bus, has been doing it for a while now. @lewisjn would probably be able to expand further on how it works, if they see this.

Likewise I'm also not a fan of "wear a face covering" etc style messages blocking vital route information. Not everyone would have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the places served on a particular route.
I’m not against this ‘departs in...’ messaging as it’ll generally be seen in a bus station or point where it is paused for a short while and you could speak to driver. But I agree about some of the face covering messages. I’ve seen local Stagecoach vehicles on which both destination and route number get replaced by the ‘Stay Alert’ message on a rotation, so you have absolutely no idea what route is approaching. Sometimes the bus getting hailed just incase it’s the one someone wants, only for the screen to finally change back and the bus waved on, having by now pulled over unnecessarily.
 

kez19

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I don't know why it would be displaying a departure time at that bus stop. I grew up on the route and that stop isn't a timing point or anything, it's a relatively quiet stop serving one of the more residential parts of the route.

That feature will be most useful at Market Street and Gateshead Interchange, where waits are more common. I've known the bus wait for nearly ten minutes at the latter, and quite often I'd rush to the bus stop thinking it was about to go, only to find it sitting there for ages. It can't see it being used at other stops - the only other point buses sometimes wait is by the Cemetery (the Saltwell Park stops are at the end of a narrow-ish street and I assume the bus doesn't wait there because it might cause congestion).

I thought that in terms of the pic, I have used the 53/54 when I went to Saltwell Park but I would agree with you it be more suited at Market Street/Gateshead interchange.

Like others have said, Transdev have been doing that on their top tier routes.

GNE seem to be becoming Transdev MkII in many ways to be fair, X Lines looks very Transdev-Esque.


Yet the closest relation to GNE is the East Yorkshire brand and not Transdev?! (or am I wrong to say that?)
 

GaryMcEwan

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Citylink's AIR service between Glasgow Bus Station and Edinburgh Airport is now telling you on the display when the bus is due to depart.
 

hst43102

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I think it's a good idea in principle. But whether it should take priority over route information, I'm in two minds about. (It looks like it is taking up the space that would usually be occupied by a scrolling list of the places it serves).

However, I must say that bus doesn't look particularly attractive...
I think that it's a good idea on short, local feeder services such as Go North East's 53/54 routes - frequency and departure time is much more important than the route information - on the old buses it just used to say

53 Newcastle circular via Saltwell Park

or the other way :

54 Saltwell Park circular via Gateshead

8343-NL63XBN-Newcastle-301020.JPG

It's a route which only serves three main destinations - Newcastle, Gateshead and Saltwell Park. Not losing much by the omission of the second part of the display!
 

Boo_

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So long as the screen is setup so it clear with Route Number and Final destination that all what is needed. As when you put waypoints you can also Confuse people not local as if you don`t know a area you could get on bus going wrong way. when I was a controller for Megabus I had a passenger that missed a coach And argued and argued and argued. That the coach did not turn up never mind leave on time. but they did see a coach going to Portsmouth and I was like yes that was your coach. it so Important People use the numbers not destinations.
 

hst43102

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So long as the screen is setup so it clear with Route Number and Final destination that all what is needed. As when you put waypoints you can also Confuse people not local as if you don`t know a area you could get on bus going wrong way. when I was a controller for Megabus I had a passenger that missed a coach And argued and argued and argued. That the coach did not turn up never mind leave on time. but they did see a coach going to Portsmouth and I was like yes that was your coach. it so Important People use the numbers not destinations.
Surely that's the best thing about having a human driver rather than an autonomous vehicle? When I'm in an unfamiliar area, I'll ask the driver where the bus is going just to be sure.
 

kez19

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So long as the screen is setup so it clear with Route Number and Final destination that all what is needed. As when you put waypoints you can also Confuse people not local as if you don`t know a area you could get on bus going wrong way. when I was a controller for Megabus I had a passenger that missed a coach And argued and argued and argued. That the coach did not turn up never mind leave on time. but they did see a coach going to Portsmouth and I was like yes that was your coach. it so Important People use the numbers not destinations.


Even though I visit Newcastle on my annual leave, the first time using a bus I did get confused ie Whitley Bay (there are many services there that go the same destination but go different routes - what I am saying here is not a complaint but if you are new to an area it will lead to some confusion though :) )

I think I mentioned this before but even I got confused with Stagecoach Newcastle 62/63/X63 route, ie the X63 route goes circular round on the 62 not the 63 (I would have thought be logical)

Surely that's the best thing about having a human driver rather than an autonomous vehicle? When I'm in an unfamiliar area, I'll ask the driver where the bus is going just to be sure.


I agree thats one thing I have started to do in areas i'm unsure about but its been by chance if I am using say Google/Apple maps I keep checking back on the journey to get off.

:)
 
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lewisjn

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I believe it’s a feature of the Mobitec system. A local independent to me, White Bus, has been doing it for a while now. @lewisjn would probably be able to expand further on how it works, if they see this.
It is indeed a feature of the Mobitec system. Many ops use Hanover, which does have countdown (including GNE until now) but it's far clunkier and less intuitive in my view.

Until now all ops using this have had to request drivers use it when waiting time which can be a little hit-and-miss, but now Ticketer can wire in to the destination controller to have the destination change automatically when a trip is selected and also set the countdown automatically. I believe you can then set stops when you want the countdown to reappear (eg significant timing points along the route - I don't know the Tyne area but some have been mentioned for these routes above). Given how many pictures of the Voltras I've seen with the countdown active I'm guessing this is what they've done.

The other issue ops like us have is the inconsistency of some buses having the Mobitec next-stop system which supports countdown and the more basic destination-only system which does not.

The countdown screen itself is programmed as a separate screen so with the 'via' line being used up, I try to put more info on the top line to give more information about the route. For example, service 446 shows 'Staines / via Ottershaw, St. Peter's Hospital, Chertsey & Thorpe Park', and the countdown screen shows 'Chertsey & Staines' alternating with 'via St. Peter's Hospital' with the countdown underneath.
 

MotCO

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Another possible use of the 'depart in x minutes' is if the bus is early and is waiting time. It may avoid people running to catch the bus if they know that the bus is going to stay there for 1 minute or so.
 

kez19

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Another possible use of the 'depart in x minutes' is if the bus is early and is waiting time. It may avoid people running to catch the bus if they know that the bus is going to stay there for 1 minute or so.


Wouldn’t that be a bit of a con though?

Is it the transport commissioner or something like that, can they inspect bus routes?

As buses aren’t meant to be early let alone late for destination (stupid in my mind the early part of it)
 

py_megapixel

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Wouldn’t that be a bit of a con though?

Is it the transport commissioner or something like that, can they inspect bus routes?

As buses aren’t meant to be early let alone late for destination (stupid in my mind the early part of it)
Exactly... if they arrive at a timed stop early, they are supposed to wait to avoid running early.
 

kez19

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Exactly... if they arrive at a timed stop early, they are supposed to wait to avoid running early.


I find that whole thing stupid if the bus is early to it’s destination, it’s bad enough on my own local route it can stop at least once or twice or possibly three times if it runs early.
 

Robertj21a

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I find that whole thing stupid if the bus is early to it’s destination, it’s bad enough on my own local route it can stop at least once or twice or possibly three times if it runs early.
Surely that's so other intending passengers know that it will only leave a timing point on time, or at least not more than 1 minute early?
 

peterblue

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I don't think there needs to be a "departing in 1 min" message at a random suburban bus stop. It's not necessary, and that information will often obscure the vital 'via' section of the display listing destinations served by the bus. This is something that is more useful at a bus station where there are longer waits of over 5 minutes.
 

kez19

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Surely that's so other intending passengers know that it will only leave a timing point on time, or at least not more than 1 minute early?


Yet if a bus is a minute early at its stop drivers will get penalised (warned not to do), I mind at a time growing up a bus ran non-stop between destinations, where I stay its on the odd occasion it happens!

As regards of the timing point on time/leaving/arriving, why not they themselves go out on a bus and accurately time it than guess?
 

Robertj21a

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Yet if a bus is a minute early at its stop drivers will get penalised (warned not to do), I mind at a time growing up a bus ran non-stop between destinations, where I stay its on the odd occasion it happens!

As regards of the timing point on time/leaving/arriving, why not they themselves go out on a bus and accurately time it than guess?
Buses are permitted to run up to 1 minute early to 5 minutes late. Timing points are usually determined by an actual run, not guesswork.
 

kez19

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Buses are permitted to run up to 1 minute early to 5 minutes late. Timing points are usually determined by an actual run, not guesswork.

Not according to one driver I speak to, was told off for doing exactly that, that was even arriving at the terminus.

Yet for most routes of I am aware of locally there is hardly any "layover" time its as soon as you arrive, turn round and off again within a few minutes.
 
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