Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Buses are Cool

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Posted on the Isle of Wight bus forum on Monday 17th September. 
Those (few?) who try to use this facility may have noticed that Island information still reflects last winter's timetables.
Note : no X10 or X11 from 2nd September 2012 

I emailed them earlier today about this and very quickly received a very detailed reply that gives an interesting insight into how their system works.

In short it seems that IOWC are supposed to maintain a database that feeds the national system but IOWCs failed very early in the year. It has since been replaced and new training given and current information should soon be available again.
Traveline : X10 "valid until 12th October"

Unfortuately IOWC also told Travelline there had been no significant changes since the winter 2011 timetable, which is why none of SVs seasonal services were ever shown; so "foreigners" unaware of the SV website would have missed knowing about the delights of the Breezers or Coaster this year.

FACT : For the xephos system (sadly a commercial failure), it would take one person less than a working day to create (not just update) data for all the IoW bus services. A seasonal update might take an hour, depending on amount of change. Nothing more clearly illustrates the enormous waste of our money expended on the flawed Traveline system.
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Well, at least some buses are cool ...
And not just because of air conditioning.
And the driver is cool. And they've got comfy seats ...
... and big wide windows!
The bell-pushes are superb ...
... and buses are full of "street cred" ...
... and do doughnts to amaze the youff! So ...
An astounding advert that is doing the rounds of the interwebnet; and thanks to  the Plymothian Transit blog for hightlighting it. Watch the full advert; unfortunately the download process has lost the subtitles so get your "Teach Yourself Danish" out.
video
Or guess. Sadly, it's not the next phase in the rebirth of First Bus.
It's from Midttrafik, one of the regional bus operators in Denmark. And even the logo is "cool"!
fbb is not proficient in Danish but, clearly, "vest" is "west, "ost" is "east" and, delightfully "syd" is "south"; but don't tell him. As "nord" is "north", we have to assume that "midt", which doesn't reveal itself in the on-line Danish to English dictionary is the same as "midte" meaning "middle".

But, thankfully, the Midttrafik web site (visit here) offers some limited English translation which helps with the basics. Blue buses are for regional and rural services, as with the route 23 shown in the advert.
Timetables are available, of course ...
... with each rural journey having its own "trip number".

City buses, as here in Aarhus ...
... are yellow and the publicity comes with a full stops list ...
... and a "proper" route map.
One intriguing feature of the timetables is that running times in the afternoon can differ from those in the morning; so you get two "and these times past each hour" blocks with appropriate times at the top. In this context "faste" means "fixed", or "stable". "Minuttal" should be easy, even for a non-linguist.
Obviously it saves space but would be utterly baffling to a UK user, even if it were in English. But, as is so often the case, there is just that "special something" about Danish public transport. It will be heavily subsidised and such horrors as privatisation UK-style are thankfully absent. It just seems that, to put it simply,

Buses are cool ...
... despite the language barrier!
And the vehicles are, well, long!
Cool, indeed.

Tomorrow we return to the New Network in Norwich. Some routes are just too loopy! But remember this?
video

 Next Bus Blog : Thursday 20th September 

6 comments:

  1. "Obviously it saves space but would be utterly baffling to a UK user, even if it were in English."

    I'm sure I've seen timetables that go something like:-

    0700 0730 [then at these minutes past each hour: 00 30 until] 1215 1245 [then at these minutes past each hour: 15 45 until] 2345.

    Merseytravel's follow that format, I'm fairly sure. I grew up with it on Merseyrail (when I assumed every other local train system would be perfectly "im Takt" as well) and so did others in the area.

    "But, as is so often the case, there is just that "special something" about Danish public transport. It will be heavily subsidised and such horrors as privatisation UK-style are thankfully absent. It just seems that, to put it simply,


    Buses are cool ..."

    Did you actually think that was the intention of that ad, or did you take it as I did as a bit of a sarcastic joke that drew attention to bus travel?

    That said, the "buses are quality" thing does come across elsewhere, though. I've seen German adverts showing a spotless Citaro with text like "Mercedes limousine with air conditioning, leather seats and your own chauffeur: X City Bus". There's a similar Spanish one for Madrid public transport in this month's easyJet rag. Those are deadly serious, and I'm fairly sure one of the Stenning branded companies does it in the UK as well.

    Neil

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  2. Thanks, Neil. It is not the "double" repeat pattern that baffles, but placing them together with the "repeat" text at the top. Thanks for your comments.
    I think that the Midttrafik Ad is to be taken seriously! It is very Scandinavian.

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  3. "It is not the "double" repeat pattern that baffles, but placing them together with the "repeat" text at the top."

    Fair point, not seen that.

    "I think that the Midttrafik Ad is to be taken seriously! It is very Scandinavian."

    Despite being very well travelled I've never been to Scandinavia, so perhaps my assumptions are wrong - but it definitely has the same sort of joke feel as the Stagecoach "Bus of Britain" ads, just in a totally different way. Maybe I'll reconsider when I eventually get round to going there!

    Neil

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  4. If you are into bus videos, have a look at the Cardiff Bus Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyy6KU6C3EI. I don't know if Cardiff Bus had anything to do with it but it does them no harm. It's in English with English sub titles so you can sing along.

    Paul

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  5. Actually, most of the Danish operators have been privatised - their number includes Arriva, for example.

    Perhaps the comparison should be between methods of regulation and reward in the two countries. Slightly further north, the Stockholm traffic authority's latest contract includes targets for passenger growth - a new development here, where just running the services was previoulsy thought to be incentive enough.

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  6. Of course IW Council has fallen behind with updates. They made both of their team of two in the Public Transport Department redundant at the same time. Apparently it wasn't the plan, but hey ho!

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