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ACTION to implement Real Time information system

By Grail - 1 September 2011 12

ACTION will be implementing a Real Time Passenger Information System by 2013, which aims to provide passengers with information about the timeliness of busses they’re trying to catch. All the available details are on the ACT Transport site.

I’m sure some people will find this interesting. Will you make use of the RTPIS when it is up and running?

For me the only difficulty with commuting by bus is that I have to catch the bus serving the stop nearest my office before 5:20pm, otherwise I’ll end up arriving in Tuggeranong after 6:30pm, when the busses switch to their one-per-hour schedule for the rest of the night. It doesn’t matter to me whether the next bus at this stop is going to be early or late: my first leg Dickson to Civic is service by a half-dozen routes, with busses arriving about one every three minutes. My last leg home is served by two busses (11 and 65), which depart Tuggeranong once an hour, within 15 minutes of each other.

I’d prefer a Google Transit project be implemented before a RTIS, since my casual consultation has drawn the conclusion that people I know don’t catch the bus because they dislike having to spend time with a dozen bus timetables to figure out which bus to catch and which transfers they have to make. The habit of busses not appearing at the indicated times is a non-issue, since these potential users never got over the first hurdle.

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
ACTION to implement Real Time information system
patrick_keogh 5:56 pm 02 Sep 11

edlang said :

That’s a bit silly — why would they restrict the outgoing data on the basis that in their view, it’s uninteresting?

Sorry perhaps I didn’t make that clear. I never said that they would restrict the visible data on the basis of interestingness or anything else.

edlang 3:46 pm 02 Sep 11

patrick_keogh said :

The stated intent with the real-time data is similar except instead of just providing access to the “firehose” of data comong from each bus (location, engine temp, speed, passenger load etc. etc. every bus every 30 seconds) we will have access to a “digested” version which will have less of a performance impact and be easier to process. The exact details of that haven’t been thought out yet I expect.

That’s a bit silly — why would they restrict the outgoing data on the basis that in their view, it’s uninteresting?

Imagine if your mobile app was aware of the load and average speed of a pair of intertown buses, as well as the predicted trips of the passengers on boad (hooray myway cards!), so it could say “catch the 318 in two minutes instead of the 315 that’s here now, it’s got more free seats, less likely to stop as often to offload / pick up passengers so you’ll get to *your* chosen or predicted destination more quickly, and the engine is well within its safe operating zone so it’s unlikely to explode”.

Next you’ll be suggesting that this feed could be incorporated with automatic real time traffic signal management to prioritise public transport flows. Now *that’s* crazy talk.

Deref 2:58 pm 02 Sep 11

damien haas said :

Id prefer if ACTION just loaded all the data ont a publically available database, in an open format, and let anyone from those uni kids to IBM have at it.

+1

If gubmints would only wake up to the potential for that sort of thing Australia might have some chance of escaping its fate as China’s quarry.

Aenveigh 2:05 pm 02 Sep 11

I wonder if this will integrate in any way with the performance data the ACTION website now indicates is ‘coming soon’…

patrick_keogh 1:41 pm 02 Sep 11

damien haas said :

Id prefer if ACTION just loaded all the data ont a publically available database, in an open format, and let anyone from those uni kids to IBM have at it.

I read the webpage, i see the ‘consultation’ has come and gone. Ive spoken to a few transport activists in the ACT and not one was consulted in any of these consultation sessions. Im curious to know who these ‘stakeholders’ are.

A cynical person may say that the actgov only consults with people they know will agree with them.

Well far be it from me to get in the way of cynicism, but I was personally present at one of the focus froup consultation sessions (representing Pedal Power ACT) and the other people there represented other stakeholder groups. I know there was more than one “focus group” session and as well as that there was a public call for participation via a web-based survey etc. etc. No community consultation process is ever perfect but to my eye it looked like they gave it a fair shot.

The intent with the “static” information that is being provided to Google Transit is that this also be available to anyone else who wants access (it is normally just published via a web server). The format that Google uses is publicly documented so IBM, uni kids plus dog will all be able to have a bash.

The stated intent with the real-time data is similar except instead of just providing access to the “firehose” of data comong from each bus (location, engine temp, speed, passenger load etc. etc. every bus every 30 seconds) we will have access to a “digested” version which will have less of a performance impact and be easier to process. The exact details of that haven’t been thought out yet I expect.

creative_canberran 12:57 pm 02 Sep 11

damien haas said :

Id prefer if ACTION just loaded all the data ont a publically available database, in an open format, and let anyone from those uni kids to IBM have at it.

Sounds almost like a proposal to turn ACTION routes and timetables into a wiki… I like.

damien haas 12:25 pm 02 Sep 11

Id prefer if ACTION just loaded all the data ont a publically available database, in an open format, and let anyone from those uni kids to IBM have at it.

I read the webpage, i see the ‘consultation’ has come and gone. Ive spoken to a few transport activists in the ACT and not one was consulted in any of these consultation sessions. Im curious to know who these ‘stakeholders’ are.

A cynical person may say that the actgov only consults with people they know will agree with them.

Innovation 8:54 am 02 Sep 11

edlang said :

I don’t like the idea of any private company being the sole source of information for interacting with a public utility. Private monopolies are bad for customer service!

+1 – just look at the Canberra airport as well as others – although their owners and others would argue that there is competition.

Also, I agree with eq2. I don’t yet use the public apps being developed and I realised that Action’s bus maps are very difficult even to identify where some bus stops en route actually are. The unnamed roads in some areas don’t even seem to look the same as roads on google maps.

luther_bendross 8:50 am 02 Sep 11

In news just in: ACTION joins the 1990’s in 2013.

Their website is pathetic, their routes disjointed, thier bike and ride system inconsistent and their reliability non-existant. Whilst I welcome their move, it would have been nice about a million years ago. Would it really cost $12000000 to put up live times at bus stops and make their website more like http://www.131500.com.au/, noting that we don’t have trains or ferries?

eq2 12:55 am 02 Sep 11

Google transit would be implemented within a month or so, googles services would be free and all the ACT govt would have to pay for is a person to make their data compliant. .

http://maps.google.com/help/maps/transit/partners/participate.html

edlang 1:25 pm 01 Sep 11

This came up on the CLUG list a few weeks ago. See these two threads:

https://lists.samba.org/archive/linux/2011-August/030463.html
https://lists.samba.org/archive/linux/2011-August/030474.html (someone had a bad MUA and confused mailman)

I don’t like the idea of any private company being the sole source of information for interacting with a public utility. Private monopolies are bad for customer service!

Aenveigh 12:44 pm 01 Sep 11

Well, they could integrate the RTIS with a trip planner…

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