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Major Updates

General queries


Real time information

  • Why is the real time display, or the Travelwest Bus Checker app, showing incorrect arrival times?
    The RTI system retrieves information from the bus GPS unit. So in order for this to work accurately the bus has to have the GPS unit active, drivers turn this on at the start of their shift.
     
    If a bus gets delayed in traffic, or has to divert for some reason, it becomes harder for the system to give accurate predictions of how long it will take for the bus to arrive.
     
    Occasionally technical faults may arise within the RTI system which can lead to the RTI predictions not being available.
     
    There are also rare cases where a bus that is no longer in service still has the GPS unit on and the system will read it as Service X arriving at Bus Stop X. The bus might pass the stop with the "not in service" message, or take a different route and the system will still try to predict an arrival time at the bus stop.
     
    This is not a comprehensive list, and there may be other things that could interfere with an accurate prediction.
  • Requesting an RTI display for your bus stop in Bristol

    Bristol City Council is currently in the process of providing more real time information (RTI) displays at bus stops across the city as part of the Shelter Replacement Project (SRP). As well as replacing  all life expired bus shelters the SRP will also provide an additional 300+ bus stops with RTI displays and raised bus platforms to make boarding and alighting easier. Due to the scale of the SRP completion is planned for early 2020.  Work has already begun on upgrading bus shelters in Fishponds, Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton and Stockwood.

    If you would like to request an RTI display at your bus stop, please contact the council:- passenger.transport@bristol.gov.uk

    If you are requesting an RTI display at a bus stop with a shelter we may be able to provide you with an estimate of when the stop will be upgraded as part of the SRP referred to above. If your bus stop is identified with just a bus stop pole we will record your request so that it can be considered as and when funding becomes available.

  • The RTI display shows a "cancelled" message - what does this mean?
    From time to time due to operational reasons, following a road traffic incident for example, operators may have to cancel journeys on a service in order to re-position vehicles so that they can start the next journey on time. At the request of both operators and service users the RTI system has been enhanced to indicate to passengers when a specific journey has been cancelled. The journey that has been cancelled will appear on the RTI/web displays as follows:
    • 26          To Centre            12:00
    Followed a few seconds later by:
    • 26           Cancelled            12:00
    The cancelled message will show the scheduled time of arrival for the specific journey based on the 24 hour clock instead of a predicted arrival time in minutes. This enables passengers to make informed travel choices so that they can complete their journey. Please note that the cancelled message does not appear automatically – it requires the operator of the service to cancel the journey/s from the RTI system as only they can decide whether or not a journey will operate.
  • Which bus stops in Bristol have an RTI display?
    A list of bus stops in Bristol equipped with an RTI display can be found on the TravelWest website under the bus real time information section.
  • The RTI display at my bus stop is not working. Who should I report it to?
    Displays installed at bus stops are the responsibility of the local authority and any faults should be reported directly to them. When reporting a fault with an RTI display, please provide the bus stop name and if possible, the direction of travel for example, College Green towards Whiteladies Road. The council will then report the fault to the RTI contractor as required.
  • How do I report a bus that has not shown on the RTI display?
    If you notice that a bus that has arrived at your bus stop has not appeared on the RTI display you should report it to the relevant bus operator. In order to enable the bus operator to identify the vehicle, please provide the following information:-
    • Date;
    • Time the bus arrived at the bus stop;
    • Service number;
    • Bus stop name;
    • Bus registration/fleet number if possible.
    Once the operator has received the information they will investigate to ensure that the on-bus equipment (OBU/ETM/communications antenna) is working and check that the driver had logged on correctly. If the bus operator is unable to identify the fault the RTI contractor will be contacted in order to identify/repair the fault.    
  • Which bus services are included on the RTI system?
    A list of the bus services included on the RTI system can be found on the TravelWest website under the bus real time information section. Currently there are over 130 local bus services serving the West of England region on the RTI system (May 2014) provided by Abus, Bath Bus Company, CT Plus, First, Somerbus and The Kings Ferry.
  • Why do some buses not appear on the RTI system?
    There are a number of factors that result in a bus journey not being shown on the RTI system. The most common reasons for a journey not showing are:-
    • A non-RTI equipped bus being allocated to a service promoted as having RTI;
    • There is a fault with the OBU and/or the ETM that communicates with the central RTI system;
    • The bus driver has logged on to the ETM incorrectly, preventing the journey operated being ‘matched’ by the central RTI system;
    • Incorrect timetable and/or schedule data has been loaded on to the central RTI system, preventing information received from buses being ‘matched’ with information contained on the central RTI system;
    • There is a fault with the central RTI system, preventing journey matching and/or predictions from being calculated;
    • There is a fault with the communication systems for example, radio base stations, on-vehicle communications antenna etc, preventing information from flowing between buses and central RTI system to at-stop displays, website, etc.
     
  • How does the real time information system work?
    Each bus used on a route that is included on the RTI system is equipped with automatic vehicle location (AVL) equipment that enables the bus to be tracked by global positioning satellites (GPS). The location of the bus is then transmitted to the central RTI system. In addition to the buses location, specific service information is also sent to the central RTI system either through a separate piece of equipment fitted to the bus, referred to as an on-bus unit (OBU), or the electronic ticket machine (ETM). The specific journey information received from the bus is then compared to timetable and service schedule data stored on the central RTI system. The data is then ‘matched’ and using system algorithms, journey arrival/departure times are predicted and communicated to on-street displays, web sites, Traveline (nextbuses service and SMS) etc.  

Report problems with real time information displays at bus stops

Report a problem with real time information for a particular service

Below is a list of Operators who's services within Bristol and surrounding area's use the real time information system.

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