Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Private profiles - please note that profiles marked as private will soon be public. This will facilitate moderation so mods can view users' warning histories. All of your posts across the site will appear on your profile page (including PI, RI). Groups posts will remain private except to users who have access to the same Groups as you. Thread here
Some important site news, please read here. Thanks!

Why is there no "real position" for Dublin Bus?

  • 18-10-2017 8:48pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 492 ✭✭ Gerrup Outta Dat!
    Banned


    After all of the money that was spent rolling out the "real time" displays, you'd think they could implement something a bit better. The "real time" seems to be nothing more than a glorified electronic countdown timer, counting down to the time the bus is actually due according to the timetable.

    Why can't we introduce a timetable at each bus stop detailing the time that the bus is due to arrive at that specific stop with the real time displays instead being used for "real distance".

    The number going up and down like a whore's knickers, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 7 minutes, 1 minute ....due .. due .. due ..1 minute ... due ... then it arrives.

    Would it not be better to have a display that says bus is 1500 meters away, 500 meters, 100 meters .... 50, 20, 10 etc?


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 36,084 ✭✭✭✭ ED E
    Registered User


    Cynic Mode:

    Dublin Bus control have it. The public don't. This is to mask the crappy performance levels.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj
    Registered User


    The "real time" seems to be nothing more than a glorified electronic countdown timer, counting down to the time the bus is actually due according to the timetable.

    The number going up and down like a whore's knickers, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute, 7 minutes, 1 minute ....due .. due .. due ..1 minute ... due ... then it arrives.

    Can you make even some token effort to be consistent? Both of those statements are totally contradictory.

    If the display simply shows the time counting down to the scheduled time then it will behave like a countdown timer on your mobile phone or a kitchen timer. Then you say it goes up and down a like a ....


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,306 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm
    Registered User


    Would it not be better to have a display that says bus is 1500 meters away, 500 meters, 100 meters .... 50, 20, 10 etc?


    If you can't see the bus then a meter reading is of no use to. All you'll try to do then is figure how how much time is left before the bus gets to the stop.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,511 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    Would it not be better to have a display that says bus is 1500 meters away, 500 meters, 100 meters .... 50, 20, 10 etc?
    because that information is less useful? people don't care how far the bus is away in distance, they care how far away it is in time. and i suspect that whatever you think of their modelling of how fast a bus might be going is, it's going to be more acccurate and more meaningful to most passengers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,799 ✭✭✭✭ Dyr
    Registered User


    The information is not accurate


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,613 server down


    If the progress is changing then it is not just a timer. I agree that time is better than distance.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,511 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    Bambi wrote: »
    The information is not accurate
    90% of the time, it is, in my experience.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,446 ✭✭✭✭ ArmaniJeanss
    Registered User


    because that information is less useful? people don't care how far the bus is away in distance, they care how far away it is in time. and i suspect that whatever you think of their modelling of how fast a bus might be going is, it's going to be more acccurate and more meaningful to most passengers.

    There are certain circumstances in which I'd much prefer to know the actual distance rather than their estimated time - I don't see any downside in providing both (distance could surely be an option on the app)


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    There are certain circumstances in which I'd much prefer to know the actual distance rather than their estimated time - I don't see any downside in providing both (distance could surely be an option on the app)

    The obvious drawback is that distance as the crow flies can be completely different from distance that the bus will have to travel so if you are using the former which would be the easiest to calculate, distances will go up and down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,446 ✭✭✭✭ ArmaniJeanss
    Registered User


    devnull wrote: »
    The obvious drawback is that distance as the crow flies can be completely different from distance that the bus will have to travel so if you are using the former which would be the easiest to calculate, distances will go up and down.

    Doesn't the time system already cater for that - it knows that if the bus is at X that it'll be ETA 10 minutes to Y even though Y might be 1 minute/200 metres from X as the crow flies (the bus having to go in an out of an estate before getting to Y would explain the time gap).
    So by the same logic it would know to tell us 1300 metres or whatever?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 22,799 ✭✭✭✭ Dyr
    Registered User


    90% of the time, it is, in my experience.


    Today, a Saturday afternoon. Rtpi shows the bus as 5 minutes away. Over the next 15 minutes it goes to 4 to 2 to due to off rtpi for that stop, then shows up as 2 minutes away again. :D That is not unusual

    It's not real time and it's not reliable, a wasted opportunity


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112
    Registered User


    Traffic,issues on route, many questions, many not having coins out or none at all, same goes for rooting around in bags for card, then not topped up, crashes, disputes many many many things change time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj
    Registered User


    If the bus has left the terminus and is actually moving then the timing is reasonably accurate. But there is a big problem with phantom buses where the display shows the time remaining to it's scheduled arrival at your stop, even though it's not actually running. The system assumes that the bus is running but the tracker (GPS) equipment is faulty so unless it's manually pulled from the system, RTPI is programmed to assume that the bus is running.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,559 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dfx-
    Moderator


    the rtpi is an indicator for me. It's based on past journeys and the time it *should* take to cover the distance. It doesn't predict for obstacles in the way that weren't there last time so can change.

    Whether it's four five minutes away is not as important as telling me no services are available or the next bus on a corridor of four routes is 20 minutes away.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    I find RTPI to be pretty accurate 95%+ of the time.

    Unfortunately it is that 5% of the time it doesn't work that lets it down badly and makes the whole thing look worse then it actually is.

    It is that ghost bus you have been patiently waiting for, counting down the arrival, comes to "due" and then disappears off the screen, never coming, infuriating.

    Or it doesn't turn up, nothing listed for another 30 minutes, you walk away, 2 minutes later the bus flies past you further down the street!

    If a bus hasn't actually left, then really it shouldn't appear on the screen at all, this part is inexcusable IMO.

    If a bus is suddenly pulled off a route by the controller, then it should be immediately marked as such on all the RTPI screens on the route, with something like "Sorry, bus removed from service".

    I think these simple changes would make it less infuriating for the users.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112
    Registered User


    Yes the screens should show more info.


    Could easily keep number and put message beside or rolling on the line its on.

    Easily done and controller could well only have to select bus that's missing and click attach message but a yes or no and away the message goes without any need to write it up each time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,710 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3
    Registered User


    Bambi wrote: »
    Today, a Saturday afternoon. Rtpi shows the bus as 5 minutes away. Over the next 15 minutes it goes to 4 to 2 to due to off rtpi for that stop, then shows up as 2 minutes away again. :D That is not unusual

    It's not real time and it's not reliable, a wasted opportunity

    Very regular occurrence.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 697 ✭✭✭ wordofwarning


    bk wrote: »

    If a bus is suddenly pulled off a route by the controller, then it should be immediately marked as such on all the RTPI screens on the route, with something like "Sorry, bus removed from service".

    I think these simple changes would make it less infuriating for the users.

    I agree with this. I think if the 7.45am bus was cancelled, it should state on the board that the 7.45am bus was cancelled. It is unacceptable that Dublin Bus does not openly communicate with the public when it is pulling buses.

    A few weeks ago I was late for work, as one of the buses was cancelled. I emailed Dublin Bus to ask what had happened. I was informed the first bus was curtailed and was late, another bus was late leaving the depot etc. All were due to staff issues

    I can't imagine it sitting well with the driver, that the public constantly knowing buses were cancelled / late due to the staff issues. I could imagine the most passive person getting pissed off with drivers constantly being late leaving depots


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,084 ✭✭✭✭ ED E
    Registered User


    Friend was waiting just north of an hour for 30m interval service yesterday. No traffic/breakdown issues reported.

    Meanwhile the RTPI told him thrice the bus was 15m away when no such service was running.



    Do the NTA ever do real world inspections of DB service reliability?


  • Registered Users Posts: 731 ✭✭✭ smackyB
    Registered User


    Have enquired about positions being made available before - supposedly not technically feasible: https://twitter.com/CiaranCuffe/status/839791585885827072


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 36,084 ✭✭✭✭ ED E
    Registered User


    Theres zero technical reason as the control centre already has the data. Its just a case of setting it up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 731 ✭✭✭ smackyB
    Registered User


    ED E wrote: »
    Theres zero technical reason as the control centre already has the data. Its just a case of setting it up.

    Any idea who I could pester to make this happen then? Would be keen to see this data made available!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,344 ✭✭✭ Phibsboro
    Registered User


    I wish someone from Dublin Bus would come on and explain exactly how the system works. What exactly is happening when you get a ghost bus? How could that be, technically?

    For example, for me RTI is 98% correct and has transformed my use of public transport. But I am very close to town and nowhere near a terminus. I wonder if a lot of the people who have regular issues are near termini and are seeing timetabled times for buses before they actually leave - presumably that is how the first few stops on a route get their RTI beyond the few minutes the bus is actually on the road to them.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,205 Mod ✭✭✭✭ hmmm
    Moderator


    smackyB wrote: »
    Any idea who I could pester to make this happen then? Would be keen to see this data made available!
    Looks like a start
    https://data.gov.ie/dataset/real-time-passenger-information-rtpi-for-dublin-bus-bus-eireann-luas-and-irish-rail


  • Registered Users Posts: 731 ✭✭✭ smackyB
    Registered User


    hmmm wrote: »

    Unfortunately none of those APIs expose the raw bus positions, they only provide timing data


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,084 ✭✭✭✭ ED E
    Registered User


    Phibsboro wrote: »
    I wish someone from Dublin Bus would come on and explain exactly how the system works. What exactly is happening when you get a ghost bus? How could that be, technically?

    For example, for me RTI is 98% correct and has transformed my use of public transport. But I am very close to town and nowhere near a terminus. I wonder if a lot of the people who have regular issues are near termini and are seeing timetabled times for buses before they actually leave - presumably that is how the first few stops on a route get their RTI beyond the few minutes the bus is actually on the road to them.

    Yeah, my big issue is the termini.

    I'm 10-15m from the point of entry(3 routes) so RTPI shows services that should run and then they disappear when the server notices its a few minutes past schedule and the driver hasn't checked in (probably called in sick 2hrs earlier).


    If you're 30 mins from the start of the service then these ghost busses will never show and will only be inferred as missing if you watch the timing between services.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,200 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor
    Registered User


    Request the dataset through data.gov.ie

    There's an option to "suggest a dataset"

    The team behind it are quite pro-active in following up with dataset owners.

    Failing that, FOI the internal policy that prevents them from opening it up.

    Lastly, use AIE request to allow for accurate calculation and estimations of emissions data on bus routes.

    That last one, EU legislation makes it difficult to refuse.

    Pretty much all of the above is free of charge to a point so the only thing you need to do is spend some time


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 960 flaneur


    It seems to happen in Brussels too. I would assume they’re a mixture of busses with and without satellite tracking?

    Sometimes in Brussels it displays “temps théorique" and you’ll get the odd ghost in the machine where a theoretical bus pulls up and departs...

    There are few things more annoying than standing in the rain and discovering that your bus is merely a philosophical construct.


  • Registered Users Posts: 919 ✭✭✭ Danjamin1
    Registered User


    The whole setup is a joke, there's nothing even remotely real time about that system. There's a bus stop outside my estate, it's the second stop on the route. I've regularly been waiting at that stop & seen the bus going the opposite way up the road completing the outbound route. You would expect that this same bus is turning back after the final drop off & going back on the inbound route but it regularly takes ages for a bus to actually arrive back at the stop on route. The phone RTPI system is also a joke, there's next to no accuracy. And there's no point letting them know this on Twitter as your likely to just get blocked.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 7,504 ✭✭✭ Outkast_IRE
    Registered User


    I dont believe Dublin bus on this one. The Bus Eireann buses around cork city can have their positions checked online, i used to do this alot last year when i was commuting on the bus, it would show its location on the street on a map.


Advertisement