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I note WBT plead high satisfaction for their services.

 

Sorry time to disagree. I recently gave up driving into Warrington to catch the train and got the bus daily instead. 3 months later and I am shocked at how poor the service is (18 /18a / 13 & 29)

 

On average 50% are late. 2 last week didnt turn up or were so late that I actually caught the next one. 2 drivers have taken wrong turns and 1 missed my stop this mornign despite standing next to him.

 

The real time info is just a glorified timetable. If the bus is 1 minute late then the next service just pops up regardless if it has left or not.

 

Am I the only one who has these problems?

 

Sorry rant over. :x:x

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Welcome to the world of commuting by bus, Adrian. Catching near enough the same journey every day, we suffer disproportionately if our journey is a known troublesome one that suffers from late running due to congestion. Unlike the train, the bus has to deal with traffic, and the only really effective way of countering it is to allow more running time, which costs money as you need more buses to cover the same amount of journeys. Not a day goes by without some form of disruption - only yesterday one of the swing bridges got stuck!

 

Indeed, your route has to deal with those Westbrook traffic lights just like all the other car drivers who have written in to the G**rd**n of late, and there isn't even priority given to buses. And we watch as the council dither and create limited bus lanes that are of no real value to the operators, giving ammunition to motorists on web forums condemning the very concept of giving up a little bit of road space for the more efficient mode of transport.

 

You do have the advantage that the 18/18A is pretty frequent, every 10 mins, plus you seem to have other routes you can use in times of distress, which is better than some other areas. I say this as a former bus commuter along the A49 to Stockton Heath, and arguably the worst routes in terms of punctuality.

 

I think WBT do a great job considering the difficulties they face, and they're pretty responsive to feedback as well provided you give them the full details. They're just as frustrated by the congestion as we are, drivers and management alike.

 

As for the real-time - sounds like there is a problem with the display at your bus stop. If you never ever see a "5 mins" countdown (sometimes suffixed by the dreaded text "delay") rather than a "07:52" timetabled departure then it sounds like a hardware fault that means it can't access information as to where the bus is located. If the bus can't be found (or isn't fitted with functional GPS equipment) then it defaults to the electronic timetable.

 

50% of departures on time, Adrian. Combined with the chance of getting a seat on each, that's probably better than the train, isn't it? :wink:

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I know I don?t use the busses that much but when I do I?ve never ever seen this working at all.

 

I think I?ve asked this before and never got an answer but how much has been paid out for this none working system? The reason I ask is that I supply very similar systems to the taxi trade providing two way communications with drivers and full GPS vehicle tracking all fully computerised and the cost? Well assuming a start from scratch and pricing everything, a typical 100 car company would work out about 65K and that includes a 42 inch wide screen monitor for the control room with digital mapping down to individual house level. It dosn't just tell you how long a car will be, it actually shows where it is. But most importantly, it actually works! :D

 

Not offering to convert or fix the Warrington bus thingi mi bob but just thought these numbers might make one or two people stop and think.

 

Bill

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I think that the bus company must have quite a large budget, they have a fleet of quite new bus?s, all the money spent on that new computer system, They must have put something into that new interchange Bus station, All the money spent underwriting ?the wheel? that no one goes on, New uniforms a couple of months ago, Adshell don?t provide the bus shelters for nothing. Mind you they do not have to pay council tax on their property which must be a big saving. Do they pay road tax or is it a stagecoach licence?

If they had to provide a service competitive with other road users they would fail badly, How many times do you see a bus travelling with one or two passengers, the carbon footprint per bus must be more that two cars.

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Originally posted by Bill:

Well assuming a start from scratch and pricing everything, a typical 100 car company would work out about 65K and that includes a 42 inch wide screen monitor for the control room with digital mapping down to individual house level. It dosn't just tell you how long a car will be, it actually shows where it is. But most importantly, it actually works!

I can't find any figures how much it cost Bill, but I think the core components [125 x GPS units and a big pretty console for the inspectors] as used in your system cost about the same and work pretty well on the whole. I get the impression it's the bus stop displays which cost the most, are the most complex bit and are most prone to failure - which is unfortunate as it's the bit that is of most use to the public.
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Well done James. I had tried in the past to dig that info up but couldn?t find it.

 

Quite interesting though because I?m quite sure what goes into the bus in terms of equipment because it?s similar albeit lees sophisticated than our kit. We charge ?600 per vehicle including fitting for a taxi so just on the busses, potentially we could have saved them ?2,900 x 125 = ?362,000 BLIMEY!

 

The bus stop signs, other than being in a big box, won?t contain much more electronics than in the bus so I?d guess they could be turned out for round figures about 1k. They?d need fixing to the bus stop and I haven?t a clue how much that costs but let?s be generous and say ?1000. That?s a saving of ?4K per stop. Not all the stops have these but if they did, the Woolston service I think would require about 30 of them so just on one service the saving signs could have been ?4,000 x 30 = ?120,000 YIKES!

 

Looks like I?m in the wrong business or maybe right business wrong market place but it certainly explains why it doesn?t work; probably a big wad of cash gumming up the works!

 

Bill :)

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Originally posted by Bill:

Quite interesting though because I'm quite sure what goes into the bus in terms of equipment because it's similar albeit less sophisticated than our kit.

Not sure it's less sophisticated, if anything I'd think it's more complicated - I'll explain why when I've got more time (possibly in private message to avoid boring everyone else with techie talk!)

 

And if it's any consolation, Greater Manchester PTE has been implementing a similar system for the past few years. It doesn't appear to have even got past the testing stage!

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I think WBT are appaulling, I used to really stick up for them and was more than happy to use their buses, now I do out of need only.

 

More than anything else such as being late and missing buses off the timetable and not advising waiting passengers, I think the attitude of the some of the drivers is passed description and the Insepctors just aren't the same any more, their attitude is worse.

 

I verbally complained the other day after having banged my head when getting on a double decker and was told they couldn't just take off all the double deckers which wasn't what I wanted, they laughed as I explained what had happended and the point I was trying to make just got lost in sillyness.

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As I no longer own a car I've been biking and traveling by bus of late. The busses from Cinnamon Brow have been okay when I've caught them, on time reasonably clean unless idiots have been throwing the free newspapers around.

 

I like the new bus station and again the only problem is the idiots who smash the glass on the information boards. Security are around and trying to catch them in the act.

 

Biking however has been a question of learning the techniques of cycling on the modern day roads with powerful cars. How I've not been knocked off I don't know but I have covered some miles so getting fitter.

 

Big thanks to the Chairman of the Warrington Cycling Campaign who gave a talk at our Parish Council meeting. Chris took us through the new Cycling maps he has produced with WBC and also highlighted and supported me on the danger spots in and around Cinnamon Brow.

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