Thursday, February 4, 2016

MyTransLInk & real time data

Screen shot of app store advert
It is not often that BrizCommuter writes a positive post, mainly due to there not being much positive about Brisbane's public transport system. However, BrizCommuter has been pleasantly surprised by the usefulness of the MyTransLink app, and the realtime information. The realtime information is based around the MyStops section of the app, where you can either select favourites, or use the map/search options to find a stop you happen to have ended up at the morning after.

So in what situations is the realtime information useful?

  • If you live near a bus stop, you only need to leave your house when the bus is a few minutes away, rather than standing around getting sunburnt waiting for a late bus. 
  • If have a choice of a few routes or stops nearby, you can check the stops (though not at the same time) to see which one will have a service first.
  • If you have a choice of a direct route, or changing, you can see whether direct bus is coming sooner - e.g.  taking a 66 from RBWH to Mater Hill, or take the next 330/333/340 then change in the CBD to a SE Busway service. 
  • You are in an area you are not used to and need to find the nearest stops and services. 
  • Seems to be more accurate than Queensland Rail's passenger information system, which is notorious for showing cancelled trains as 1 minute away. 
Where could things be better?
  • Inaccurate if a bus stop is early on in the bus route and the bus is late. This is due to the scheduled data appearing to be used until the departure time. Probably not much that can be done about it. 
  • Data in 'My Services' section could be updated in real-time.
As well as the real time data, the notifications are also useful. Though they are only as good as the information that TransLink provides (they always forget to inform passengers of Ferny Grove and Shorncliffe Line trains cancelled between Park Rd and Roma Street). 

To conclude, as long as you are tech savvy and have a good idea of possible routes from A to B, you can make great use of the MyTransLink app to get around the system faster. 

1 comment:

  1. I will say that real time info is absolutely abysmal at a terminus. I catch the 104 from Corinda station, and the 29 from the Gabba just about every day and it will never give real time info on when it will start. Real time only starts working once the route has begun, despite the fact that TransLink know exactly which bus takes which route thanks to the driver schedules. Limitations of GTFS potentially.


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