Bus: General queries

Bus: Real time information

  • Why is the real time display, or website, showing incorrect arrival times?
    The real time information 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 real time information system which can lead to the real time information 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 a real time information 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 real time information display, or the website, show 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 real time information 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 real time information/website 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 real time information system as only they can decide whether or not a journey will operate.

  • Which bus stops in Bristol have an real time information display?

    A list of bus stops in Bristol equipped with an real time information display can be found on the travelwest website under the bus real time information section.

  • The real time information 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 real time information 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 real time information contractor as required.

  • How do I report a bus that has not shown on the real time information display or website?

    If you notice that a bus that has arrived at your bus stop has not appeared on the real time information display or website  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 real time information contractor will be contacted in order to identify/repair the fault.

  • Which bus services are included on the real time information system and website?

    A list of the bus services included on the real time information 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 real time information 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 real time information system or website?

    There are a number of factors that result in a bus journey not being shown on the real time information system, or website. The most common reasons for a journey not showing are:

    • A bus not equipped with a GPS unit being allocated to a service promoted as having real time information;
    • There is a fault with the OBU and/or the ETM that communicates with the central real time information system;
    • The bus driver has logged on to the ETM incorrectly, preventing the journey operated being ‘matched’ by the central real time information system;
    • Incorrect timetable and/or schedule data has been loaded on to the central real time information system, preventing information received from buses being ‘matched’ with information contained on the central real time information system;
    • There is a fault with the central real time information 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 real time information 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.


Park & Ride: Fares

  • How much do Park & Ride tickets cost?
    There are different fares for different locations. Please visit the pages below for more info.

    Bath Park & Ride services

     

    Bristol & South Glos Park & Ride services

  • Do children pay?

    Bath Park & Ride locations

    Accompanied children under 16 travel free (maximum of 5 per adult).  

    Bristol & South Glos Park & Ride locations

    Please see individual Park & Ride pages for fares information.
  • Can I use my older person's bus pass?
    Yes, all Park & Ride locations accept older person's bus passes after 9am from Monday to Friday and all day Saturday. This includes all Bristol P&R i.e. Portway, Brislington and Long Ashton; as well as on Bath Park & Ride services on Sunday.
  • Are other tickets accepted on P&R services?
    • Park & Ride services in Bath also accept the following tickets: Bath Rider, Avon Rider and Freedom Travelpass
     
    • Park & Ride services in Bristol & South Glos also accept the following tickets: Bristol Rider and Avon Rider
      To see information about all tickets available and accepted, please visit the Park & Ride Tickets and Passes page.
  • Are there student discounts?
    Unfortunately none of the Park & Ride services offer student discounts at this time. However, other services operating on site may offer them. Please check with the operator.
  • How do I get a refund for my P&R season ticket?

    One

    First you must surrender your season ticket card by returning it to the following address:

    ABS Place (City Hall)

    Bristol City Council

    P O Box 3176

    Bristol

    BS3 9FS

    Two

    The amount of the refund is then calculated from the date when the ticket gets to us until the day when the card expires.

    Three

    The amount of the refund is then subject to a £20.00 administration fee.

    General Factors

    • These repayment conditions apply for all requests for a refund.
    • If the payment for a P&R season ticket was made by a company cheque or by a combination of a purchase order/sales invoice the same conditions apply but the method of repayment may differ.
    • If you have paid for a season ticket as an individual and you have made a request for a refund you will be paid the amount that you are owed in the form of a cheque. This will be sent to your home address.
    • It will take at least 7 days for the refund request to be processed and possibly longer depending on the circumstances.

Park & Ride: Parking

Park & Ride: Queries about services

  • Can I board a Park & Ride service anywhere on the route?

    Bath

    Bristol

    • Portway Park & Ride and Brislington Park & Ride services can only be used by passengers who start or end their journey at a Park & Ride site. On trips towards the city centre you can only get on the bus at the Park & Ride site, on trips towards the Park & Ride site you cannot get off the bus at intermediate stops (with the exception of the Portway Park & Ride service which is allowed to pick up and drop off along the Portway due to the lack of alternative bus services).
    • All other bus services at Park & Ride sites operate as a regular bus service and getting on or off the bus is allowed at any stop along their route.

    For more information visit individual Park & Ride pages.

  • What is the difference between a Park & Ride service and a regular bus service?

    Bath

    Bristol

    • On Park & Ride Services Portway Park & Ride and Brislington Park & Ride, passengers must start or end their journey at the Park & Ride site. On trips towards the city centre you can only get on the bus at the Park & Ride site, on trips towards the Park & Ride site you cannot get off the bus at intermediate stops (with the exception of the Portway Park & Ride service which is allowed to pick up and drop off along the Portway due to the lack of alternative bus services).
    • All other bus services at Park & Ride sites operate as a regular bus service and getting on or off the bus is allowed at any stop along their route.

     For more information visit individual Park & Ride pages.

  • Timetables displayed at the bus stop
    If this is related to infrastructure, timetables at bus stops and parking, please contact the council using the contacts below. For any other queries please refer to the bus operators' contacts found on each service page.

    Bath Park & Ride locations

    Please contact Bath & North East Somerset Council's Parking Services department on parking@bathnes.gov.uk or 01225 477133  

    Bristol Park & Ride locations

    For issues at Portway or Brislington sites please contact Bristol City Council's Parking Services team on parking.services@bristol.gov.uk
  • The bus did not arrive on time
    Please contact the bus operator. You can find the relevant contacts on this page.
  • My usual stop is closed or has been moved
    Please follow the information displayed at the bus stop.
  • Report something not working at one of the Park & Ride locations
    If this is related to infrastructure, timetables at bus stops and parking, please contact the council using the contacts below. For any other queries please refer to the bus operators' contacts found on each service page.

    Bath Park & Ride locations

    Please contact Bath & North East Somerset Council's Parking Services department on parking@bathnes.gov.uk or 01225 477133  

    Bristol Park & Ride locations

    For issues at Portway or Brislington sites please contact Bristol City Council's Parking Services team on parking.services@bristol.gov.uk
  • I would like to send a comment concerning a bus service or driver
    Please contact the bus operator. You can find the relevant contacts on this page.
  • I lost an item on the bus

    Bath Park & Ride locations

    Please contact Public Transport on 01225 394113 or email public_transport@bathnes.gov.uk  

    Bristol Park & Ride locations

    Please contact First Bus on 0117 9047252 or email firstsouthuk@firstgroup.com

Journey Planner: Live Arrivals

  • The Live Arrivals was showing me results in a minutes countdown format and 24 hour format. What does this mean?
    • When there is a minute countdown it means that the real time information system is correctly tracking the bus location via its activated GPS device.
    • When the system cannot find the GPS location of a bus scheduled to arrive it will automatically show the scheduled time as per timetable.
  • Why is the real time display, or website, showing incorrect arrival times?
    The real time information 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 real time information system which can lead to the real time information 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.
  • The real time information display, or the website, show 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 real time information 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 real time information/website 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 real time information system as only they can decide whether or not a journey will operate.

  • How do I report a bus that has not shown on the real time information display or website?

    If you notice that a bus that has arrived at your bus stop has not appeared on the real time information display or website  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 real time information contractor will be contacted in order to identify/repair the fault.

  • Which bus services are included on the real time information system and website?

    A list of the bus services included on the real time information 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 real time information 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 real time information system or website?

    There are a number of factors that result in a bus journey not being shown on the real time information system, or website. The most common reasons for a journey not showing are:

    • A bus not equipped with a GPS unit being allocated to a service promoted as having real time information;
    • There is a fault with the OBU and/or the ETM that communicates with the central real time information system;
    • The bus driver has logged on to the ETM incorrectly, preventing the journey operated being ‘matched’ by the central real time information system;
    • Incorrect timetable and/or schedule data has been loaded on to the central real time information system, preventing information received from buses being ‘matched’ with information contained on the central real time information system;
    • There is a fault with the central real time information 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 real time information 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.

Journey Planner: Routes and Timetables

  • A timetable PDF/web version is not loading, how do I report this?

    The links to bus services PDF/web version timetables open a new tab on the Traveline Southwest website. This can sometimes take a few seconds, but if the timetable never loads or you receive an error message please let us know straight away so we can investigate and contact Traveline Southwest if necessary.

    Please use our Journey Planner Feedback form to inform us of this fault giving as many details as possible.

  • Where can I find a timetable and/or route that is going to change/start in the future?
    If this timetable and/or route have already been made available to the public, you'll be able to find it by following these steps:
    1. Visit Routes and Timetables
    2. Select the area the bus service is operating on
    3. Above the list of service numbers, click on Current Timetable and change this to Upcoming Timetable
    4. You'll be able to see any available upcoming timetables and select the one you were looking for
    Below is a screenshot of what the Upcoming Timetable option looks like: Upcoming Timetables screen in Travelwest Journey Planner

Journey Planner: Planner

Journey Planner: Generic

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