Thursday 8 September 2016

GoTimetable Sheffield : Plenty Of Choice

Simple Search Systems Succeed?
One of the boast of the modern connected world that we used to call the information superhighway is that "everything is on line". The snag is that you need to know where to look!

Let's suppose the we want to find a timetable from Skelton Lane to Longford Road as illustrated yesterday.
If we know that it is service 25, it should be easy. And mostly, wherever we look, it is easy.
Traveline Yorkshire offers eight 25s ...
... including, interestingly, the service from the pretty South Riding town of Worthing to London! But there is our friend, Woodhouse to Bradway with no mention of Spa Road or Skelton Lane in the timetable. But we can find it if we "change listed stops".
First Bus doesn't find a 25 because it does not operate that service.

Stagecoach is more problematic.
But our required service is there on a list which includes well-known Sheffield districts of Holmfirth, Penistone, Worksop and Doncaster.

Of course, GoTimetable Sheffield is straightforward. Just search for 25 from the home screen.
But if you do not know the route number, but want to find the timetable of a bus on Skelton Lane Woodhouse, it becomes less easy. Unless you know the route number, Traveline Yorkshire cannot help you ...
... without going via the Journey Planner.

First Bus offers no help because it is not their route.
First's Journey Planner can find Skelton Lane ...

... but not Longford Road.
Likewise, Google Transit suffers from the same problem ...
... whereas Google Maps introduces yet another set of names. (click on the map below to enlarge).
Stagecoach, however is really weird.
It offers a Skelton Lane in Handsworth - there isn't such a road; and a Longford Road in Dore - ditto. But, using these odd-ball locations, it does find some sort of journey.
It is wrong, of course; because like Traveline, it makes you walk from the Skelton Lane stop ...
... to Sheffield Road.

GoTimetable is simple. Type Skelton Lane into the search and, ping, there is the 25.
But type in Spa Lane and you get ...
... nowhere near Woodhouse.

Which isn't much use; but it does expose a real problem. How detailed should your database be? A mantra for Transport Information is that you can either be comprehensive or comprehensible but never both. Too much information simply confuses.

There is no technological barrier to making every stop available in a GoTimetable search.

Interestingly, many of the tables in the GoTimetable Seaton system have all stops shown and, surprise, surprise; people say it is too complicated to use.

To give another example. A search in Travel South Yorkshire for Spa Lane gives, in the order shown, services:

28, 120, 55, 24, 25, 40, 41

Of these only 25 uses a road called Spa Lane, the rest serve Birley Spa Lane. The 24 serves neither.

And for Skelton Lane, you get:

7, 7A via Skelton Lane in Beighton
8, 8A NOT via any Skelton Lane
24 NOT via any Skelton Lane
25 via Skelton Lane Woodhouse

As usual, a poor effort from TSY.

But you can use a map or route diagram as a search tool. More tomorrow.
GoTimetable Sheffield
For information go to

Android users please go to
Google Play Store
for the downloadabler version
John, one of our many Sheffield news-hounds, has been on a timetable leaflet search and he confirms a much better showing for First routes that have changed since last Sunday 4th September.

Friday 2nd September
70/71, X1

Monday 5th September, Arundel Gate
35, 70/71, X1

Tuesday 6th September, Arundel Gate
3, 18/18a, 20, 35, 38/38a, 51, 70/71, 75/76, 85, 97/98, X1

MOST unchanged leaflets have been re-issuer BUT
95 and 271/272 are still current but unavailable

Marks out of ten? Only 5 because the leaflets should have been available the previous week, but were not.
 Final GoTimetable blog : Friday 9th September 

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