geoff_184 wrote:More evidence of the fact that the real time info is not really in real time. The sign says the 136 bus is 35 minutes away, while in the background you can see the 136 bus sitting at the lights, just seconds from arriving. In reality, the 136 bus approaching had disappeared from the sign about 12 minutes earlier. The sign counted down the minutes, 5, 4, 3, 2, then displayed "DUE", then got deleted from the display, a full 12 minutes before the bus arrived.
Anyone showing up and seeing the sign would think they still have 35 minutes to spare before the next 136 shows up, so walk off to the shops or whatever, only to miss the bus.
Meanwhile, a 154 bus passed by when the display said it was 7 minutes away. People showing up and seeing they still have 5 or so minutes to wait, have actually already missed it.
I really do think these signs are a joke. If they are not GPS based, then they are not real time info. It's all just guess work as it stands, and is so often highly inaccurate.
(image imaged from quote, refer previous page
As I understand it the "realtime" info falls back to the timetable if the system cannot see the bus GPS tracker for whatever reason (such as a technical fault or the driver not using it, either accidentally or deliberately, or even the bus not having started its run yet).
Of course at present the only clue this may be happening is that the time countdown is happening smoothly. Too smoothly. A countdown that gets stuck or even goes up shows that at least something is being tracked.
Not helping this is the drivers' display console. It shows a big number as the number of minutes early or late. "-03" means 3 mins early, "+10" means 10 minutes late. "+00" means on time. Problem is, the displays show "+00" if the GPS isn't signed on or working properly - the same thing displayed that means 'on time'.
I've noticed the GPS accuracy of Sandringham Rd buses has improved recently as buses have got newer, although only inbound. Outbound, if a bus doesn't leave Vic St on time, then it's presumed to be on time. I would have thought the logic failure there would have been pretty obvious.
On Onewa Rd, for some odd reason the predictions for University-bound services are usually accurate (not always), but Victoria St bound buses I'd say only one out of three turn up when the GPS system tells me they will. Half the time they're several minutes EARLIER at my stop than the GPS says.
There's supposed to be an upgrade coming that at least differentiates between scheduled and realtime bus time predictions, similar to the trains where the scheduled time is showed by a realtime countdown that does not show at all if not known. I seem to recall it is due to be rolled out about September or October. 2011
It's described here
, but in case they quietly pull it, here's the text:
Real time information
New GPS vehicle tracking will soon provide true real time information to passengers. This will allow for more accurate predictions of arrival/departure times for buses, trains and ferries at bus stops, train stations and ferry terminals, on the MAXX website's Live Departure Board, and using the MAXX mobile phone services. These timings will be updated as things change, including delays and disruptions effecting services at your stop.
For each service, in addition to the details about the route, you will see the scheduled time for that service to be arriving at or departing from your stop.
You will see in the "Due" column a countdown of the minutes to go until the bus, train or ferry is predicted to arrive/depart, based on its current location, speed & direction.
Once this new real time information system is operating, changes will be made to all the existing electronic signs, to accommodate the new information that will be displayed.
When a service is cancelled, you will see a "C" instead of a countdown for that service.
Where we have lost track of a vehicle, and cannot currently predict its arrival or departure time, you will only see the scheduled time for that service - the "Due" information will be blank.
When the arrival / departure of the bus, train or ferry is imminent (typically within the next one to two minutes) the minutes to go displayed in the "Due" column will be replaced with an asterisk (*).
You will no longer see a long list of all the stops where the train is stopping. In its place you will see whether the service is via Glen Innes or Newmarket, and if it is a Limited Stops service this will be indicated.
Destination names and abbreviations are being standardized, so for example, you will no longer see some bus services advertised as going to "MIDTWN" and some "MDTOWN" and some "MIDTOWN".
MIDTWN irritates me, so it'll be good to see that gone.
I also like this, from here
From September you will be able to check when trains will depart
from your station using your mobile phone, on maxx.co.nz, and
on new Real Time Boards at stations.
That's September 2011 again. I think they're running a wee bit behind.
“People, not vehicles, are the economic lifeblood of a successful, vibrant city.” - Jahn Gehl to Auckland City Council, September 2010
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein