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Fancy bus stops take Quinlan’s fancy

By Kerces - 9 May 2005 24

Much to my surprise the Riot regulars seemed to have missed the story about Ted Quinlan allocating almost $7 million for a Real Time Passenger Information Service. City News has a tiny bit about it in their story here and there was a fuller story in today’s CT but it since it was on about page 3, it didn’t make it online. The official release is here. But if, like myself, you can’t be bothered looking at those links, you’re probably wondering what the hell a RTPIS is.

Well apparently it involves putting computers at either all or most bus stops that link to GPS devices in the buses. So when you the humble bus user are sitting at a bus stop wondering where on earth that bus that was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago is, you can look on the fancy computer screen and find out. In theory.

The press release says, “Real time information has been implemented in cities including Auckland, Christchurch, Brisbane and Adelaide, which report improved patronage of between 10 and 30 per cent.” Uh huh.

Personally when I use buses (which is fairly frequently since I mostly don’t have a car), I just sit at the bus stop and wait it out. Would it make me feel better if I knew where that late bus was? Probably not. If I’m going to catch a bus then it’s because Idon’t have any other way of getting to where ever I’m going. And once I’ve got to the bus stop, I’m pretty much committed to getting on that bus.

If I did know where the bus was when it’s supposed to be at my stop (which is probably going to be the most frequent use for these RTPIS things), will that change the amount of time that I’ll have to wait for it? No.

Think about a nice LCD screen sitting waiting at every bus stop and interchange in Canberra.

Does that say invitation for vandalism to anybody else? Or theft?

It looks to me like the best thing that will come out of this large amount of money is that the GPS thingys will also act as traffic light triggers, so buses get priority at lights.


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24 Responses to
Fancy bus stops take Quinlan’s fancy
Thumper 8:32 am 10 May 05

Get this, For me to go from Charnwood to Kippax is quicker if I walk. It takes me roughly 45-50 minutes. To catch a bus I have to go through Melba, Evatt, Florey, and then to the interchange, catch another bus, which then winds through Florey, Latham, Higgins, Holt and then finally to Kippax.

Thats scheduling for you…

Anonymous 9:45 pm 09 May 05

As someone who’s tried to catch a flexibus real time tracking and couse correction is badly needed. Currently if you ring up at half past the hour they’ll go and tell you to wait at the stop for until it arrives which could be 75 minutes, and if you call at quater to and miss the bus out you have to wait an hour before one even leaves civic.

johnboy 7:57 pm 09 May 05

Personally I wouldn’t muck about with GPS or in-road RFID,

Just have a sensor at each bus stop phoning home when a unit goes past.

It seems like a lot of money and I’m not sure it’s worthwhile, but once you’ve got real-time tracking of the system there are a LOT of efficiencies you can start to introduce, which are mostly unrelated to electronic timetable’s at each bus-stop.

Samuel Gordon-Stewar 6:51 pm 09 May 05

hmmm, I forgot about the vanadlism…there aren’t many bus stops that don’t get regular grafitti attacks…so amazing elctrical devices on poles??? And where are we going to get the electricty from…a nice long cable from the nearest overhead powerline?
Dear oh dear oh dear.


Son of Joel 5:25 pm 09 May 05

how many people would catch buses if they were free. How much revenue would the government miss out on for parking???
Poor public transport equals high parking fees you lot do the maths…..

seepi 3:55 pm 09 May 05

Hmm $7 million would apparently pay for the IVF treatment people are so upset about (that tony abbot has cut from the budget). I do like the idea of knowing where the bus is though. I’m always worried I might’ve missded it.

bonfire 2:55 pm 09 May 05

Its a lot of money for negligible gain in patronage. I can see annual costs for replacing vandalised/stolen units. Exactly how many busstops will get these ?

I doubt that its what led to the 20-30% increase in patronage. If indeed those figures are true and independently verified.

Even the gummints own ‘sustainable’ transport plan says that the 30% trips by means other than private vehicles include 10% walking to work and 10% riding a bike. Which means that all the investment into buses will raise public transport patronage by 3-5%. Nice but not magnificent.

Buses are becoming a revenue sinkhole in the ACT.

9 mil here, 180 mil there. Whats our deficit ?

And for the person the other day who said that lightrail is a thing for 20-30 years in the future – i would say look at the bizarre route of the belco busway and see how its been designed to suit facilitys built first. if you install your lightrail network now, future venues such as stadiums and hospitals and schools will build closer to the public transport infrastructure.

less need for vehicle use.

monorail is not viable, lightrail is.

Thumper 2:55 pm 09 May 05

So we put a monorail down Coulter Drive!

LurkerGal 2:48 pm 09 May 05

But Coulter Drive’s still all cracked and broken….

Ralph 2:39 pm 09 May 05

I swear it’s Springfield’s only choice…
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
What’s it called?
Once again…

Marco 2:32 pm 09 May 05

First it was light rail, now monorail?

Thumper 1:20 pm 09 May 05

Fair enough. But I’m not convinced that its actually needed. It would more like a good idea rather than a necessity.

Anonymous Bosch 1:17 pm 09 May 05

Its a great idea so long as its not just in interchanges. Works a treat in the UK and at least you don’t have to worry about whether there’s a timetable or not at your station.

Mark Scott 1:15 pm 09 May 05

As long as Canberra doesn’t go down the path of doing what Brisbane did and put the RFID devices underneath the roads, I can see benefits. But then, there’d also be benefits in putting high-speed monorail that didn’t have to stop at traffic lights or give way to traffic between all the town centres from Lanyon to Gungahlin, Weston to Queanbeyan (just because its in NSW, doesn’t mean its not part of Canberra)

Thumper 1:11 pm 09 May 05

Given that hardly anyone uses buses it would seem a complete waste of money.

I for one, when using a bus, am happy to simply wander down to a stop and wait. You know one will be along some time. And of course, you can always ring ACTION and ask.

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