Incomprehensible bus timetables

I absolutely agree with this. I made a 25 page submission to the ORC last year, saying why the bus timetable was so hard to understand and how to improve it. (I like recreational maths and this is an interesting problem.) Response from the ORC? Zero.

These are not bus timetables - they are just operators' run schedules i.e. they provide the information the drivers need, not the information the passengers need.

In addition to that problem (and partly because of it) timetables for the various routes are not organised into north, south and east quadrants, meaning that a traveller cannot zoom in on the area they wish to travel around.

Then, in addition to that problem, there are different timetables for each route for weekdays until about 6pm, then another one for Saturdays and evenings and then still another one for Sundays and public holidays (if you are lucky enough to get any Sunday service).

I asked the ORC to implement a route planner (an online travel path search engine) using Google Transit's free service about three years ago. Result? Zero.

Since the ORC is so unresponsive, this year, in my Annual Plan submission, I am asking the DCC to implement the journey planner and also put complete route and bus stop location info on the DCC web maps. The present timetables don't even have maps, merely incomplete and not-to scale sketches.

The DCC will have to negotiate with the ORC about doing this. It's a ridiculous and dysfunctional set-up that the DCC does not have responsibility for city bus services.

Dunedin's public transport system has grown over the years into a conglomeration of different routes provided by different bus companies, and all are designed to take commuters from an outer terminus to the city centre. Hence there is duplication of effort all over the place and congestion in George St.

It seems that no-one has looked at the whole resulting system. A little cost effective tweaking could integrate it and make provision for transfers. which would vastly improve the scope at little expense.

Good timetable info is essential and it can also be built-in by making the routes and departures times more standardised (i.e. clock-face scheduling where the bus leaves at the same number of minutes past the hour). Vast improvements are possible at relatively little expense by thinking smart, not big.