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TFI Real Time App Update - Shows Live Position and Cancellations

  • 11-06-2019 10:48pm
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    Just a note that the TFI Real Time Ireland App has now been updated and now includes new functionality which shows cancelled buses (see here) early terminated buses and variations (see here) as well as showing live positions of vehicles on a map (see here which I know are features many people here have been calling for.

    In addition if you look up by route, the route diagram will show you all the vehicles on that route at the moment and where they are by showing a bus down the left hand side of the line diagram (see here)

    To see positions of live vehicles on a map
    - Select your stop
    - Touch the service from the list of services on the departure list
    - Hit the options menu on the map above the details for the departure
    - Select 'show live vehicle positions'
    - Vehicles are denoted as blue pictures of a bus (a white bus in a blue circle is a stop)

    In my view the functionality is a major step forward but the usability of the app is still pretty poor and it's odd that showing live position is hidden by default. It's also not so obvious how to use it. Hopefully future releases will make it easier to use and retain the much improved functionality.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 407 ✭✭ n!ghtmancometh
    Registered User


    The updated TFI app is so badly designed and user unfriendly I never bothered exploring it and went back to the Dublin Bus app. I wonder if those vehicle positions are actually real time and accurate as opposed to the usual RTPI guestimation.


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


    The updated TFI app is so badly designed and user unfriendly I never bothered exploring it and went back to the Dublin Bus app. I wonder if those vehicle positions are actually real time and accurate as opposed to the usual RTPI guestimation.

    From my experience tonight it was correct, it only seems to work for Dublin Bus at the moment though as far as live Position is concerned, that functionality isn't there for Go-Ahead but short terminating vehicles and cancellations are showing up for Go-Ahead and route variations are being handled properly.

    Agree that there are user friendliness issues, but the new app really provides many of the things that people have been looking for and have wanted for a long time, so the improved functionality that we all want is now there, it's just needs a better UI in order to make the most of it. In terms of functionality it's far better than the last one but harder to use.

    The good news though is that the fact we're seeing live position and cancellations and early terminating being shown in an app, means that the information is there now, it just needs to be made more accessible. I wonder if any third party App developers will be able to get hold of it and reproduce it in a more user friendly package?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    The updated TFI app is so badly designed and user unfriendly I never bothered exploring it and went back to the Dublin Bus app. I wonder if those vehicle positions are actually real time and accurate as opposed to the usual RTPI guestimation.

    The Dublin Bus app is all well and good if all the routes you use are still with DB but is very user unfriendly if you use a mixture of DB and GAI operated services not to mention the Luas and the DART like myself and many others. For most people is very inconvenient to use two apps for what should be a unified bus services.

    Don't get me wrong the TFI app is far from perfect but is a more convenient option for people like me. I personally find the app has the same level of accuracy for DB services but is only inaccurate for GAI services however I have noticed the last few times I've used GAI services the app has been more accurate.

    The update is quite good telling people that buses have been cancelled or terminating early but is somewhat user unfriendly since the update for example all my favourites got deleted and I had to remark them which the updated version does not make easy to show people how to figure out. I would say certain people working in DB PR must be gritting their teeth at the fact the NTA is now informing people of cancelled buses which wouldn't look good on their part.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,851 ✭✭✭✭ BonnieSituation
    Registered User


    The bus stop symbol and the live bus symbol are too similar. That will have to be changed.

    I'm slowly getting used to the app after 3 days use though.

    Some great additions like route maps/diagrams on it.

    Saw a cancelled 27 earlier on as well and was well impressed with the functionality.

    I'd say it'll take a while for it to morph into the user friendly app we all want.

    That will come with time and use.


  • Registered Users Posts: 407 ✭✭ n!ghtmancometh
    Registered User


    Was tracking my morning bus while I was on it and live position is very accurate, so must be being fed actual location data. This is a very useful function, NTA should be shouting about this from the mountaintop once they clean up the apps UI a bit.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,487 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    one issue we have had with buses is in relation to variations being swapped in; e.g. a 9 is timetabled and displayed on the RTPI, but the bus that arrives is actually a 9C. i wonder if this app takes this into account?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,430 ✭✭✭ Qrt
    Registered User


    Is the update only on Android atm?


  • Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 23,110 Mod ✭✭✭✭ GLaDOS
    Testing


    Looks really impressive. Hopefully the Dublin bus app adopts similar, the TFI app is a pain to use.

    Cake, and grief counseling, will be available at the conclusion of the test



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,851 ✭✭✭✭ BonnieSituation
    Registered User


    So one UI thing I noticed this morning:
    There's no refresh option on a favourite stop unless you click on the pencil icon. Not a big deal but definitely needs incorporating properly on both screens.

    Also "drag down refresh" doesn't work as you would expect it to.


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


    one issue we have had with buses is in relation to variations being swapped in; e.g. a 9 is timetabled and displayed on the RTPI, but the bus that arrives is actually a 9C. i wonder if this app takes this into account?

    Yesterday I saw a couple of services which were showing that they were early terminating as well as the 7 which I posted a screenshot of, but the acid test for this kind of thing is to see an early terminating vehicle on the streets and then see if that is properly reflected in the app, be interested if it's reflected.
    So one UI thing I noticed this morning:
    There's no refresh option on a favourite stop unless you click on the pencil icon. Not a big deal but definitely needs incorporating properly on both screens.

    It seems to update itself without needing to refresh - On both the route diagrams and the live position maps I've seen it change whilst I'm looking at it a few times so there is probably an in-built update interval, I haven't had the time to figure out what it is exactly, but seems less than a minute.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,851 ✭✭✭✭ BonnieSituation
    Registered User


    devnull wrote: »
    Yesterday I saw a couple of services which were showing that they were early terminating as well as the 7 which I posted a screenshot of, but the acid test for this kind of thing is to see an early terminating vehicle on the streets and then see if that is properly reflected in the app, be interested if it's reflected.





    It seems to update itself without needing to refresh - On both the route diagrams and the live position maps I've seen it change whilst I'm looking at it a few times so there is probably an in-built update interval, I haven't had the time to figure out what it is exactly, but seems less than a minute.

    I assumed it was tbh. But people are people and it should still have a manual refresh. Especially seeing as the functionality is on the other screen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,513 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu
    Registered User


    are there really 7 bus stops in the same place on the quays:

    image.png


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    Also notice that services in the 6 also appear on the updated app albeit only timetabled departures and not real time info


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,971 ✭✭✭ bobbyss
    Registered User


    When i tap live position all I see is a map of the stops the bus takes. Useless.


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


    Stephen15 wrote: »
    Also notice that services in the 6 also appear on the updated app albeit only timetabled departures and not real time info

    Didn't notice that before, but that's another good feature.

    I also notice that it's also saying for some services "Operates only on school days" or "Term Time Only Departure" and also listing variations for the North which is really very nice.

    It's clear the functionality is far more developed in this app than the last one and the methodology used to return results is much more sophisticated. If they can get some improvements to the UI then we'll have an excellent app on our hands.


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


    bobbyss wrote: »
    When i tap live position all I see is a map of the stops the bus takes. Useless.

    You need to hit the more menu on the map and select live position.

    The live position vehicles are highlighted by a blue bus, whereas the stops are highlighted with a white bus in a blue circle. Note that this functionality currently only works for Dublin Bus services.

    If you don't see any buses and only see stops try zooming out, it may be that there are no buses on that route in the area of the map that you are looking at.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,216 ✭✭✭ sharper
    Registered User


    I had a very similar app called "Journey Planner" also from TFI which totally confused me because I couldn't find that specific option.

    Is there any way to filter out other routes? Even when I select a particular service it shows me all buses along that same route which makes it impossible to find the one I want.


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


    sharper wrote: »
    I had a very similar app called "Journey Planner" also from TFI which totally confused me because I couldn't find that specific option.

    They've contracted out the provision of the Real Time Ireland app to the same company who made the Journey Planner app, hence the similariaties between the two.
    Is there any way to filter out other routes? Even when I select a particular service it shows me all buses along that same route which makes it impossible to find the one I want.

    Haven't been able to do that either - the DB web app allows you to do that though as does www.rtpi.ie but they are limited in other ways.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,659 ✭✭✭ BowWow
    Registered User


    The bus stop symbol and the live bus symbol are too similar. That will have to be changed.

    Totally agree...


    Also, my "Favourites" seems to be gone?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,646 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj
    Registered User


    BowWow wrote: »
    Also, my "Favourites" seems to be gone?

    +1 they got wiped in the previous update which was pushed out about a week ago. Any new favorites you stored since that update have survived the most recent update.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,659 ✭✭✭ BowWow
    Registered User


    coylemj wrote: »
    +1 they got wiped in the previous update which was pushed out about a week ago. Any new favorites you stored since that update have survived the most recent update.

    feck! :mad:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,687 ✭✭✭✭ jack presley


    Is this just on Android as I’m seeing none of these features in the iOS app?


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


    BowWow wrote: »
    The bus stop symbol and the live bus symbol are too similar. That will have to be changed.

    Totally agree...


    Also, my "Favourites" seems to be gone?

    This app is a new app rather than an update. Will need to set them up again I'm afraid but they will save going forward.


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


    Is this just on Android as I’m seeing none of these features in the iOS app?

    Seems to be. Don't have an Apple device to hand to check. Maybe it's still going through approval process.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,851 ✭✭✭✭ BonnieSituation
    Registered User


    Odd destination for the 79A here:


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,851 ✭✭✭✭ BonnieSituation
    Registered User


    Also the 25A was stuck up at previous stop for a bit. I could see it from where I was waiting.

    This is a nice touch. Better than saying "due" for an age.


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


    They've added a fair few commercial operators onto the system now.

    They don't show live times and seem to be going off timetables since there is no source of live data for them, but it's still handy to have them there even if it's not a live departure as such.

    I've noticed some of the private shuttles are now showing up as well, Eastpoint for one is now on there, it's off indicative times rather than real time (and a note explans this).

    I notice there is a filter option showing now too but it's only by mode.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,216 ✭✭✭ sharper
    Registered User


    Hopefully all this is going into their public API, then I can just wait for a third party app developer to add a sensible UI.

    The TFI one looks exactly like what you might expect from some sort of steering committee producing generic requirements and sending them off to an outsourced contractor.


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


    sharper wrote: »
    Hopefully all this is going into their public API, then I can just wait for a third party app developer to add a sensible UI.

    The TFI one looks exactly like what you might expect from some sort of steering committee producing generic requirements and sending them off to an outsourced contractor.

    It's actually made by one of the most respected developers for Journey Planning and Real Time information, the same people who have developed the Journey Planning systems for TFL amongst many, many more..


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,216 ✭✭✭ sharper
    Registered User


    devnull wrote: »
    It's actually made by one of the most respected developers for Journey Planning and Real Time information, the same people who have developed the Journey Planning systems for TFL amongst many, many more..

    The live departure and journey planner both seem ok if you want to get around without really knowing anything about Dublin or the options involved. I find them both cumbersome and unwieldy for my own use cases such as I know what bus I want to get to and where.

    I haven't used their other applications so I don't know if the problem is TFI or the developer. I don't have an issue with the features, stability or performance of the application itself just the usability.

    Next Bus Dublin is a great example of what a transport application can be when the focus is on users and usability.


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