Thursday, February 03, 2011

Bus Stops

Why does BC Transit not have a bus schedule at each bus stop?   And why does it not have this is on a large and easy to read board?   The current small plastic spin things are hard to read and all look old and run down.  Easier to read schedules will mean more casual users.   Nicer looking signs will also make existing users feel better about the whole system.

Ideally BC Transit should have electronic bulletin boards at major bus stops letting people know exactly how long till the next bus.  This innovation would also increase the number of people taking buses.   It would also reduce frustration many people feel when trying to take a bus in this city.   Too often you go out to a bus stop when the bus supposed to be there and it was either early or it is late.   It would be nice to know how long the wait is.

BC Transit should also actively improve the bus shelters.   They need more shelters and in many areas they need much larger ones.    Rainy days are a disincentive to bus use at the moment.   They also need to have an ongoing program to make sure they are spotlessly clean - ideally there should be a hotline people can call to report less than clean bus shelters.

It is small things like this that will improve the public image of buses and will pull more people onto transit.


Jared said...

1. Get a smartphone
2. Use Google Maps
3. Never look at a bus schedule again

Bernard said...

Works for people that have smart phones, but that would tend to be people that do not use the bus that much. It also assumes that it will work on a smart phone, which it does not on mine.

It is also much easier if there was a very obvious large display when the next bus was coming, like is used in Vancouver for the B-Line buses

It also does not change the fact we need better quality bus stops.

Corey Burger said...

Sounds simple, until you look at the costs. Schedules are great as long as they are updated. But every schedule they add means a long-term cost in terms of updating it and getting somebody out to that location to physically change the piece of paper.

As for electronic bulletin boards, they ain't cheap. It is not a matter of buying a big television and dumping it up there. You need a weather-proofed case and you need a higher level of reliability than you get with consumer-grade electronics. And you need real-time bus information.

Now that isn't to say all of these aren't good things. I would love it to happen, but I am not holding my breath.

Bernard said...

Looking at what the total cost of be of having the schedules, it is not a huge cost, we are talking less than $1,000,000 a year, I suspect about $200,000 once it is all in place.

Most of the bus schedules in Victoria do not change much at all. As an example, the #21 and #22 have not had any significant changes in the time I have lived in this neighbourhood, which is 7 years.

As to the electronic boards, if they cost $5000 per bus stop and you put it in at the 200 most used stops, this would only be a capital cost of $1,000,000. Once they are in place, the annual cost for them is minimal.