Bus Stop Timetables

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newbie babs

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I am not a technical person but I am interested in the following.

Whilst waiting by a bus stop in Sheffield City Center they have the next 5 buses showing on an timetable screen which shows the bus number and how many minutes until it arrives.

How do they work and what on the bus reads if the bus is in traffic and alters the minutes on the timetable (up and down)
 
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button_boxer

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In Sheffield the bus stop signs feed off the same data that powers the http://tsy.acislive.com online live departure boards. They've recently added similar displays on many of the tram stops too, though annoyingly my local stop (Hillsborough) isn't one of them...
 

bus man

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The thing to remember is if a bus is showing countdown minuets then it is on its way it should reach you in that time. If the display shows you a time e.g. 1409 that is the time the bus is scheduled to arrive at that stop, however, the system can not find a bus which matches that journey. It could be that the journey isn't running or the system can't find it high buildings can cause this.
 

unlevel42

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In Sheffield the bus stop signs feed off the same data that powers the http://tsy.acislive.com online live departure boards. They've recently added similar displays on many of the tram stops too, though annoyingly my local stop (Hillsborough) isn't one of them...

Do not use the Tram displays except as an indicator of the level of service- they are not accurate, as it says on the display.
 
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Do not use the Tram displays except as an indicator of the level of service- they are not accurate, as it says on the display.

That is rather sad. I would have expected trams to have been more accurate since they have a signalling system of sorts. The real time tram times seem pretty good here in Nottingham.
 

newbie babs

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Thank you for the explanations. One thing I find hard to understand is when it shows 2 mins away from the bus stop and then disappears from the timetable and the bus never arrives.
 

EbbwJunction1

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One thing I find hard to understand is when it shows 2 mins away from the bus stop and then disappears from the timetable and the bus never arrives.

It's a terrible system, and I absolutely hate it.

I can't understand why some systems indicate that a bus or a tram is running late, and another system (which looks the same) doesn't. In the latter case, it just seems to believe that as it is now past the time when the service should have departed, it did and there's no need to keep it on the screen. Surely it can't be cheap to install, so why aren't systems which are going to give all the information and not just some of it installed?

Sadly, it looks to me as if it's a case of very little (if any) liaison between the operators of the service and the local councils who are often responsible for the bus stops. Try complaining to the operators of the service that their information is wrong, and their response will be "We're not responsible for this, it's the council's fault".
 

route101

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Glasgow used to have a system but it does not work anymore .
Edinburghs seem to be real time .
 

newbie babs

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I would find it more helpful if it said delayed or not in service rather than it just disappearing. If it runs of the same system as Departure Boards why does it not have more information.
Complaining to the council is a Joke.
 

Andyh82

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It's a terrible system, and I absolutely hate it.

I can't understand why some systems indicate that a bus or a tram is running late, and another system (which looks the same) doesn't. In the latter case, it just seems to believe that as it is now past the time when the service should have departed, it did and there's no need to keep it on the screen. Surely it can't be cheap to install, so why aren't systems which are going to give all the information and not just some of it installed?

Sadly, it looks to me as if it's a case of very little (if any) liaison between the operators of the service and the local councils who are often responsible for the bus stops. Try complaining to the operators of the service that their information is wrong, and their response will be "We're not responsible for this, it's the council's fault".

Some operators won't pay for the GPS tracking, so their services just display the timetable and will drop off the screen once that time is passed.
 

glbotu

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Some operators won't pay for the GPS tracking, so their services just display the timetable and will drop off the screen once that time is passed.

Yup, the entire North East works off this system..........
 

mark-h

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Edinburghs seem to be real time .

It is except from the occasional bus which is an estimate from the timetable (indicated by a star). The tracking unit is underneith the ticket machine in most of the Lothian Buses and displays how early/late the bus is.

The bus locations are avaliable on a map online.

Strangely the Edinburgh Tram stop displays are frequently turned off if there is any disruption or a special service running. A message is posted stating how often the trams are running without any indication of when the next on is.

The Antwerp tram system has/had a more simple system for indicating when the next tram was due. It has lights showing where the tram is, with an approximate time printed next to the location. There is a photo on this page.
 

glbotu

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Is that true, or just a flippant remark ?

True.

Even the major bus station interchanges (Gateshead/Eldon Square/Haymarket), you look at the list of destinations and when your bus is due to turn up, it just disappears. I believe its because no-one can agree on/pay for a unified GPS tracking system.
 

Tetchytyke

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Is that true, or just a flippant remark ?

Yep, totally true. The GPS tracking systems used by the three main operators are all different, all requiring use of the operator's mobile app, and none of them can agree with Nexus to display real time tracking in the bus stations.
 

jon0844

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Glad it isn't just me in Herts that have problems.. but how can this be a problem in 2016 going into 2017?

It's rather like smartcards. Everyone developing their own systems, interoperability issues and nobody to take ownership of the problems.

You take it for granted that things work in London, but outside it's a total gamble.

And when buses run early and remain on the screens because they're just showing the timetable, you're as screwed as if the bus isn't running at all.

Herts County council can't even show a cancelled bus on their displays or websites. There's simply no way to do it. HOW?!

Nor can there be any messages added, which might be useful for giving details in bad weather - such as 'no buses running until nn:nn' or 'diversions due to road accident' or whatever.
 

Tetchytyke

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Herts County council can't even show a cancelled bus on their displays or websites. There's simply no way to do it. HOW?!

Because the operators don't release that information, quite simply. It isn't the council's fault. Even Arriva don't release that information on their own app, if there's no live tracking it reverts to timetable and you don't know whether that's because the bus has broken down or has no driver or if it's simply because the GPS unit has lost signal.
 

syorksdeano

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I am surprised the signs at the tram stop are still under testing. I am sure that they have been installed for over a year

Sent from my SM-T555 using Tapatalk
 

TC60054

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I am surprised the signs at the tram stop are still under testing. I am sure that they have been installed for over a year

Sent from my SM-T555 using Tapatalk

If you mean the Supertram boards, they have been in for 20 months and still do not show all services as real time (as they should) and even the "real time" departures are often quite far out.
 

syorksdeano

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If you mean the Supertram boards, they have been in for 20 months and still do not show all services as real time (as they should) and even the "real time" departures are often quite far out.
I noticed last night when it said my tram would be in 21 minutes when I was sat on it.

The system has either been bought on the cheap or its not fit for purpose. Either way 20 months is a long time
 

jon0844

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I spoke to someone at Uno Bus yesterday that explained that the buses are sending very accurate GPS data to them, but when it gets sent on to Herts County Council, it either doesn't get relayed to the screens/apps OR it shows a bus as due in 5 minutes when the bus arrives. I'm not sure what happens when it passes, if it immediately disappears or still counts down.

A total joke really. Either no info or info that's stupidly incorrect. No good to anyone.
 
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