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Electronic bus stop timetables

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    Wild Bill wrote: »
    Well, whatever the system, I can testify it is less than useless forecasting the #47 at stop 7415.

    Less than useless 'cos before this you hadn't a clue when the bus will arrive; now you haven't a clue but the simple-minded think they have.

    :mad:

    Looking at it right now it appears to be allowing 7 minutes for the 47 to get there from Belarmine, before the bus departs.

    That may be too generous?

    Let the NTA know via www.transportforireland.ie as they are responsible for collating all the issues.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 ✭✭✭Wild Bill


    I thought they were tracking the buses using GPS? :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,205 ✭✭✭markpb


    Wild Bill wrote: »
    I thought they were tracking the buses using GPS? :confused:

    They are but GPS tells you where are bus is, not how long it'll take to get somewhere else. To do that, the system uses other data to guess. It could be a pre-programmed timetable, data from other buses in the same area or historical data about that route at that time on previous days.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 ✭✭✭Wild Bill


    Surely if a bus is one stop away from stop #7415 it should be able to figure out it will arrive in two minutes rather than 7 minutes.

    How can it be forecasting a bus is due in 5 minutes (and telling smart-phone users that it will arrive in 5 minutes) even as it is leaving the stop?

    And why the daft "there may be delays" warning when the problem at #7415 is that they arrive consistently earlier than the "live" system says!

    Sorry - but from a customer perspective this is a worthless system. At the very least it should NOT be claiming a bus will not arrive for 5 minutes when it is already just one stop away! :(

    I can go to Bewleys Hotel down the road and watch a map showing the location of every "Blue bus" (Aircoach bus) - it updates every 30 seconds - you can almost see the buses moving.

    And that was installed about seven years ago!


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,220 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    Wild Bill it certainly isn't worthless, it seems to work very well on most of the routes and stops I take.

    That isn't to say it doesn't have issues and will need tweaking as it goes. I assume they will be storing all the data and over time will feed that back into probabilistic calculations to improve the accuracy of the arrival time.

    BTW here is an example where it can go wrong, lets take your example. So the bus leaves the stop before yours and says it will take two minutes, but there is a major junction between the stops. If the bus hits a red light, then it will take 5 minutes, if it hits a green light then just 2 minutes.

    So when it leaves the stop before yours, should it display 2 minutes or 5 minutes or 3 minutes?


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  • Moderators Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭LFCFan


    bk wrote: »
    It is certainly possible, unfortunately most smart phones can't read RFID tags today, but hopefully that will change in the next 5 years making this possible.

    The Nexus S has NFC (Near Field Communication) built in and I reckon the majority of new smart phone releases, including the iPhone 5 will have it too. Google Wallet was just released for Android that allows using NFC enabled phones to be uses as Tap and Pay credit cards and there's a lot of great stuff in the pipeline for mobile payments and NFC. I can definitely see RFID in smartphones as the next big thing for a lot of functions.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 ✭✭✭Wild Bill


    bk wrote: »

    BTW here is an example where it can go wrong, lets take your example. So the bus leaves the stop before yours and says it will take two minutes, but there is a major junction between the stops. If the bus hits a red light, then it will take 5 minutes, if it hits a green light then just 2 minutes.

    So when it leaves the stop before yours, should it display 2 minutes or 5 minutes or 3 minutes?

    Except that in the real world the bus between Stepaside at that time passes though only one very minor set of lights that never experience delays - yet we still get the "delay" warnings and the inability to forecast from one stop to the next on a clear road within a margin of error of 5 minutes.

    As I said; useless. :mad:


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    Wild Bill wrote: »
    bk wrote: »

    BTW here is an example where it can go wrong, lets take your example. So the bus leaves the stop before yours and says it will take two minutes, but there is a major junction between the stops. If the bus hits a red light, then it will take 5 minutes, if it hits a green light then just 2 minutes.

    So when it leaves the stop before yours, should it display 2 minutes or 5 minutes or 3 minutes?

    Except that in the real world the bus between Stepaside at that time passes though only one very minor set of lights that never experience delays - yet we still get the "delay" warnings and the inability to forecast from one stop to the next on a clear road within a margin of error of 5 minutes.

    As I said; useless. :mad:

    Well rather than moaning about it here what have you done about it?

    Have you let Dublin Bus know via [email protected] with specific examples?

    With any new system like this there are going to be glitches that need ironing out. Feedback from customers is generally the best source of information to correct them.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 ✭✭✭Wild Bill


    Glitches!

    Check http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/RTPI/Sources-of-Real-Time-Information/?searchtype=view&searchquery=7415

    Note the delays expected warning!

    At 10pm up here the only "delay" that could be caused would be by not getting the driver to leave the terminus on time!

    CIE launched this - not my job to fix it. :mad:

    Have they ever heard of quality control? If they are using GPS they can easily analyse the actual stop arrivals v. predicted. If they couldn't be bothered then I certainly can't be.
    Remember, I don't actually use the #47; it was crap, let me down too often. As the customer it up to CIE if they really want to coax me from the car on rainy nights!

    The notion of "customer" seems foreign to CIE (and it's apologists).

    And btw; stop 7415 is directly beside the Luas stop. The luas arrives on time, all the time. But then it's (thankfully) not run by CIE.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭paulm17781


    I missed a bus because of it. The iPhone app told me I had missed the bus, so I walked to a different stop (different route) and saw the bus I had supposedly missed on it's way to the stop I was too far to get back too.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭petronius


    While I am more of a cyclist than a bus user, I found the Bus timetable display at the stops recently introduced as an excellent service. I know it is years later than they have them in Metro and Tram stations abroad. But in the 12 minutes I had spare I had time to nip over to the shop in belief that the bus wouldn't whizz by and leave me stranded.
    Not often I get to say this but well done CIE/Dublin Bus


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 ✭✭✭BrianD


    I think people are making an assumption that the RTPI is bible and you can plan your life around it. It's a source of information. It can never be 100% relied on because it is trying to predict the movement of something in the real world. Unless DB vehicles move in laboratory conditions it will never be 100% and I'm surprised people don't grasp this.

    Having decided to commute around town by bus on Friday a few things come to mind - an iPhone app isn't enough, a decent mobile site is more important then any Apple/Android app and also Dublin Bus could do with some signage in the City Centre showing where buses depart/arrive.

    I also managed to get a 46A that seemed to be invisible to the system. It terminated at Parnell Sq.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,576 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    took a rare bus journey this evening so tried out RTPI for the first time. Went to catch an 84 in Greystones - the bus was due to depart the terminus (Newcastle) at 2050, and according to RTPI it was due to hit my stop (no. 4295) at 2102. Even on a Sunday evening this is a completely unrealistic running time - you'd be hard pressed to do it non-stop in a car in 12 mins.

    So inevitably as soon as 2050 rolled around, RTPI started moving the arrival time of the bus back, a minute at a time, until it finally showed up at 2111.

    I know its a work in progress, and RTPI will help Dublin Bus to make more accurate estimates of running times, but in this case (and in the case of the 184 that was running behind it) the initial estimated running time is completely unrealistic (even the static timetable reckons it takes 15 mins from Newcastle to Greystones station) - this makes RTPI not terribly useful for stops close to the terminus.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 ✭✭✭BrianD


    How complex is the software for "learning" these timings?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    loyatemu wrote: »
    took a rare bus journey this evening so tried out RTPI for the first time. Went to catch an 84 in Greystones - the bus was due to depart the terminus (Newcastle) at 2050, and according to RTPI it was due to hit my stop (no. 4295) at 2102. Even on a Sunday evening this is a completely unrealistic running time - you'd be hard pressed to do it non-stop in a car in 12 mins.

    So inevitably as soon as 2050 rolled around, RTPI started moving the arrival time of the bus back, a minute at a time, until it finally showed up at 2111.

    I know its a work in progress, and RTPI will help Dublin Bus to make more accurate estimates of running times, but in this case (and in the case of the 184 that was running behind it) the initial estimated running time is completely unrealistic (even the static timetable reckons it takes 15 mins from Newcastle to Greystones station) - this makes RTPI not terribly useful for stops close to the terminus.

    Interestingly, the weekday running time estimate for that stop (looking at the 0930 84 departure this Monday morning) allows it 19 minutes, and 21 minutes for the 184 (0935 departure).

    You have a point - I would agree that close to the terminus RTPI does have limited usefulness - far better to go to the stop at the time the bus is due to leave as the data will only update as the bus proceeds along the route.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,576 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    lxflyer wrote: »
    You have a point - I would agree that close to the terminus RTPI does have limited usefulness - far better to go to the stop at the time the bus is due to leave as the data will only update as the bus proceeds along the route.

    fair point, the time they have programmed into the system for these 2 routes is clearly off-the-wall wrong. If the paper timetable says 15 minutes (which is itself too optimistic) where on earth are they getting 12 minutes from.

    Looking at the same stop this morning they are allowing 13 mins for the 184 to get there from Newtown, again absolutely impossible - that (bizarre) route goes via the Glenview Hotel and Charlesland, a motorbike couldn't do it in 13 mins.

    On another topic, the name on that stop on the website is wrong - there should be some link on the site to report obvious errors like this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    loyatemu wrote: »
    fair point, the time they have programmed into the system for these 2 routes is clearly off-the-wall wrong. If the paper timetable says 15 minutes (which is itself too optimistic) where on earth are they getting 12 minutes from.

    Looking at the same stop this morning they are allowing 13 mins for the 184 to get there from Newtown, again absolutely impossible - that (bizarre) route goes via the Glenview Hotel and Charlesland, a motorbike couldn't do it in 13 mins.

    On another topic, the name on that stop on the website is wrong - there should be some link on the site to report obvious errors like this.

    I think you must have looked at a bus that had already departed?

    Both the 1035 and 1105 departures are both give 19 minutes to get there?

    There is a "contact us" link at the top of every page - full details are there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,576 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    lxflyer wrote: »
    I think you must have looked at a bus that had already departed?

    Both the 1035 and 1105 departures are both give 19 minutes to get there?

    hmmm, I thought I was looking at the 1035 and it initially said 1048 arrival, meanwhile the 1005 which had just departed said 1026. Possibly I was looking at an 84
    There is a "contact us" link at the top of every page - full details are there.

    my experience of the [email protected] address is that its a black hole from which nothing emerges. There should be a dedicated contact for RTPI issues, its in their interest to get this right.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,281 ✭✭✭Stevek101


    loyatemu wrote: »
    There should be a dedicated contact for RTPI issues, its in their interest to get this right.

    RTPI complains and issues are not dealt with by Dublin Bus. It is managed by the National Transport Authority. Problems can be sent to the dedicated page on Transport for Ireland.

    http://www.transportforireland.ie/send-feedback


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    Stevek101 wrote: »
    RTPI complains and issues are not dealt with by Dublin Bus. It is managed by the National Transport Authority. Problems can be sent to the dedicated page on Transport for Ireland.

    http://www.transportforireland.ie/send-feedback

    Not quite right.

    Issues with the onstreet displays are dealt with by the NTA.

    However, issues with the app and online information on the Dublin Bus website are dealt with by Dublin Bus which is where the previous poster got their information.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    lxflyer wrote: »
    Not quite right.

    Issues with the onstreet displays are dealt with by the NTA.

    However, issues with the app and online information on the Dublin Bus website are dealt with by Dublin Bus which is where the previous poster got their information.

    If the problem is with the time data -- it all comes from one source which is managed by the NTA.

    Even for the Dublin Bus site or app go to http://www.transportforireland.ie/send-feedback and click on the relevant option under "What Did You Observe?"


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    monument wrote: »
    If the problem is with the time data -- it all comes from one source which is managed by the NTA.

    Even for the Dublin Bus site or app go to http://www.transportforireland.ie/send-feedback and click on the relevant option under "What Did You Observe?"

    No - that is not correct.
    Who is responsible for this service?
    This has been developed by Dublin Bus on behalf of the National Transport Authority. Dublin Bus is responsible for the automatic vehicle location system and the real time arrival predictions for its buses.

    The National Transport Authority, established in 2009, has responsibility for contracting and securing the provision of public passenger transport services for the travelling public, including information services. You can visit their website at nationaltransport.ie.

    Dublin Bus themselves have asked passengers on the 13 and 220 to submit information to [email protected] on their experiences of the real time information (http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/News-Centre/Travel-News/Real-Time-information-on-Routes-13-and-220/)

    The NTA are responsible for the on-street signage, but all of the actual predictive times comes from the Dublin Bus AVLC system.

    If you look at the Dublin Bus twitter page they are answering queries on the app and the online facility, but refer all queries regarding the on-street displays to the NTA site.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,512 ✭✭✭strassenwo!f


    Is there any word on how Dublin Bus are progressing with the delivery of timetables which show the time that a bus is due to arrive at a particular stop?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    lxflyer wrote: »
    No - that is not correct.



    Dublin Bus themselves have asked passengers on the 13 and 220 to submit information to [email protected] on their experiences of the real time information (http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/News-Centre/Travel-News/Real-Time-information-on-Routes-13-and-220/)

    The NTA are responsible for the on-street signage, but all of the actual predictive times comes from the Dublin Bus AVLC system.

    If you look at the Dublin Bus twitter page they are answering queries on the app and the online facility, but refer all queries regarding the on-street displays to the NTA site.

    From: http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/RTPI/RTPI-Help-Page/#16
    Who is responsible for this service?
    The Real Time Passenger Information service has been developed by Dublin City Council on behalf of the National Transport Authority. The service is delivered in co-operation with Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, which is responsible for the roll out of the automatic vehicle location system and the real time arrival predictions for its buses. The service will be launched in other cities across Ireland, and the National Transport Authority is working to ensure that Bus Eireann and other public transport operators are included in the future. Dublin City Council managed the procurement of the signs and software system, and it is also co-ordinating the installation of the signs in the Greater Dublin Area.

    The National Transport Authority would like to acknowledge Dublin City Council, who have taken on this role as part of its commitment to existing and new public transport users. The National Transport Authority, established in 2009, has responsibility for contracting and securing the provision of public passenger transport services for the travelling public, including information services. You can visit our website at www.nationaltransport.ie

    Also note the NTA logo at the end of the page.

    Look, people can send an email to Dublin Bus or fill out a form which the NTA will see -- http://www.transportforireland.ie/send-feedback

    I've have dealings with a wide range of public and semi-state bodies, and the NTA in fairness seem better than most, while Dublin Bus is one of the worst. From their general slowness to reply to emails, to getting no reply at all. Or getting a reply but then they never reply to any follow up email.

    Then there's things like Dublin Bus sending an email reply which apologise for a driver not stopping for a heavily pregnant woman trying to get to work and promised tickets in a way of saying sorry -- which is all good, until soon afterwards another email from them comes claiming that the bus did stop but they said the wrong date and time compared to what had been provided. And as normal no reply to that email replying to that.

    Do they just get to log everything as resolved and moved on or what?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    Is there any word on how Dublin Bus are progressing with the delivery of timetables which show the time that a bus is due to arrive at a particular stop?

    Given that the Network Direct rollout is still ongoing, no. That would be something that will follow on, as schedulers would be focussing on darwing up the new schedules for implementing the ND changes. There are still at least half a dozen more phases to go.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    monument wrote: »
    From: http://www.dublinbus.ie/en/RTPI/RTPI-Help-Page/#16



    Also note the NTA logo at the end of the page.

    Look, people can send an email to Dublin Bus or fill out a form which the NTA will see -- http://www.transportforireland.ie/send-feedback

    I've have dealings with a wide range of public and semi-state bodies, and the NTA in fairness seem better than most, while Dublin Bus is one of the worst. From their general slowness to reply to emails, to getting no reply at all. Or getting a reply but then they never reply to any follow up email.

    Then there's things like Dublin Bus sending an email reply which apologise for a driver not stopping for a heavily pregnant woman trying to get to work and promised tickets in a way of saying sorry -- which is all good, until soon afterwards another email from them comes claiming that the bus did stop but they said the wrong date and time compared to what had been provided. And as normal no reply to that email replying to that.

    Do they just get to log everything as resolved and moved on or what?

    I don't know but from enquiring of the two bodies involved, I can say that the post that I made above is the case, namely:

    The NTA are responsible for the on-street signage and all queries must go through them, while DB are responsible for the app and online information on their website.

    The source of all the data is the Dublin Bus AVLC system.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 14,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭monument


    lxflyer wrote: »
    I don't know but from enquiring of the two bodies involved, I can say that the post that I made above is the case, namely:

    The NTA are responsible for the on-street signage and all queries must go through them, while DB are responsible for the app and online information on their website.

    The source of all the data is the Dublin Bus AVLC system.

    Regardless, the NTA now has oversight with all public transport information and went to the bother of making an online form where you can report common issues such as:
    • Bus did not arrive although the sign said Due
    • Bus did not arrive although the web/ app service said it would
    • Bus did not arrive although the sms service said it would
    • The Bus was more than 3 minutes early or late that it was predicted on the sign
    • The Bus was more than 3 minutes early or late that it was predicted on the web or sms or app

    As well as any other problem you have by clicking on other. And the NTA are not the ones known to take ages to reply to emails or not reply at all -- that's Dublin Bus who are famous for that. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    Good to see - now hopefully people will be proactive and use the facility rather than moaning about it like in post #340 above.

    The more information they collate they more accurate the system will become.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,129 ✭✭✭Wild Bill


    lxflyer wrote: »
    Good to see - now hopefully people will be proactive and use the facility rather than moaning about it like in post #340 above.

    The more information they collate they more accurate the system will become.

    Well I can report that the system is still rubbish as far as the times at stop 7415 is concerned.

    Very misleading rubbish for anyone foolish enough to pay any attention to it.

    And they are still running the brain-dead "delays expected" warning for buses that always arrive early :mad:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


    The "Delays Expected" wording below the table is an explanation of the "!" icon beside it.

    It only applies if the "!" is in the actual row where the bus times are shown.

    Well given you have noted that the timings are wrong why don't you make a civic gesture and report it on the web page linked above rather than ranting on and on about it here. There are 7,500 bus stops in Dublin - do you honestly think DB can monitor every single one?

    But no you say that it's not your job to do it.

    I have to say shame on you - that is the sort of attitude that has the country in the state it is - why not do something that might improve things for everyone?

    And before you ask - yes I have done where I've experienced signs being wrong and would do the same with the app/online facility as I think we all have a civic responsiblity in this country to improve things but then again you obviously think differently.


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