Posted by: Gregory | June 11, 2015

Where exactly is my bus?

Greater Wellington rolled out RTI on the bus network back in 2011 and it’s been hobbling along for years. We still see lots of services showing scheduled times on displays and event tracking is horrible at best. There is still work being done, though. I recently took a look at Metlink’s Android widget and they’ve just released an iPhone app.

I’ve been holding a copy of the March 2015 quarterly report from Greater Wellington for a while and there is a bit of info in there on the RTI system as well.

GWTransport2015Q3_RTI1

When I spoke to GW officers about RTI issues last year, they indicated that a good portion of the tracking issues related to operator errors, as in drivers. They were hoping that training would solve most of those problems. Since then, I highlighted another issue that stemmed from buses being shuffled between routes which caused prediction errors. There’s bound to be more faults in the system. There always will be.

Open access to the RTI data is something that developers have been wanting for years. It can’t come soon enough, but the May due date indicated above has quietly slid on by. This teaser tweet from March is getting a little stale.

[tweet https://twitter.com/metlinkwgtn/status/581221848773369857]

With the release of the iPhone app, interest for the RTI API has popped up again and Metlink is claiming the end of June.

[tweet https://twitter.com/metlinkwgtn/status/608043000401416193]

If it’s any later than that, it won’t be ready for use for GovHack 2015.

[tweet https://twitter.com/MiramarMike/status/582989356069056512]

Given the effort that people want to put into improving the system, it would be a shame to not be ready for them. Even if it slides by this soft deadline, we’d rather have it eventually than never have it at all.

My interest in access to the RTI data is mostly for statistical information. How often are the buses early or late? How often are they even tracked? The quarterly report had a graph on this, but there’s no way to rearrange the data to find specific problems.

GWTransport2015Q3_RTI2

Fingers are crossed for the end-of-June due date. I hope that the internal resource at GW doesn’t get reallocated or something. Accurate information is nearly as important as reliable services.

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on strathmorepark and commented:
    Still no RTI… Come on GWRC.

  2. Reblogged this on Cyclechallenge’s Weblog and commented:

    Real Time information is getting strong advocacy from a number of switched on players which will result in some really useful upgrades… read on


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