Re: Oi! Boris! Wot abaht the bus shelters?
- From: "Maria" <pilar@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 23:27:52 -0000
"Paul Corfield" <plcd1@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:90077da2-ce8b-4861-b7be-8893a37a8037@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Jan 21, 8:53 am, "Andrew Heenan" <f...@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
There's a been a fair amount of discussion here on the new improved bus
information systems, but while the buses are chatting merrily away to us,
the 'countdown' system is decaying rapidly, with frequent breakdowns,
invisible buses, ghost buses and - lately - a spate of displays being
removed rather than repaired.
I agree it's not working terribly well - at least based on the
examples I see.
I know that some of the problems are are due to depots / drivers not setting
up their equipment properly (Firstbus is a major contender for an award),
but I thought the new system was going to include updated 'countdown'?
We need to keep in mind that Countdown is a system in its own right
with its own equipment. I-Bus is a separate system and has, from my
experience, some issues of its own about reliability. Barely 50% of
trips I make have a fully functioning system (in terms of output to
passengers) but I do use a lot of vehicles from Tottenham Garage
(which was the pilot installation and therefore may be more "buggy" as
I'm really not sure whether the interface to Countdown displays is
part of the I-Bus contract or not although the info on the TfL website
implies that bus stop displays are linked in to I-Bus. Certainly an
expansion of stop displays (an extra 2000) is a separate and second
phase and I don't know if it is still in the TfL Business Plan - a
check of that document on the TfL website might help. I also don't
know whether existing Countdown displays are still working off the
original vehicle mounted equipment and beacons or whether they are
linked into the overall I-Bus central system. If it the former of
these two options then I can understand why performance may be poor as
the system is effectively obsolete.
It's interesting that you cite quite clear reasons for problems with
FirstBus's I-Bus performance - how do you know it is garage or driver
set up that is the cause of the problems? I've recently experienced
buses not knowing where they are (* on the display) and then springing
in to life further on. Drivers can't use the equipment if the bus is
moving and the change in the display happened while we were moving.
Perhaps a signal to and from the bus was magically restored?
Let's face it, for most of us, the on-bus stuff is a minor inconvenience, or
a minor boon - it's while you wait for the bus that you are most likely to
Actually the one thing I want to see happen is the (manifesto) promise
to give people access to real time stop depature info via the
Internet. This would be a real benefit and given the spread of wi-fi
and portable data access I can see it being a real winner for people -
I would certainly use it. However I have not seen one word about it in
TfL minutes or any other report or in Mayor questions. I hope it has
not died a quiet death.
I disagree with this, most of the people having to use the bus might not have portable data access, be able to use it or want to pay to use it. Also pulling out your mobile or blackberry at a bus shelter might mean that you are forceably separated from it. No, fix countdown I say.
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