Saturday, 19 November 2011

More Tech Talk

Readers ask:

I've seen bus drivers send in Status 6's when they're too full to accept more passengers. What other statuses are there? 

The status updates are canned messages we send via our CB-style handsets. 
Status 2 - 10-15 minutes late
Status 3 - 15+ minutes late
Status 6 - overloaded, unable to pick up passengers
We also have other codes for minor and major defects on the bus, transecure issues, service issues like blocked roads or bad traffic, and a "Red Line" code for a major threat where we cannot speak on the radio. This is consistent with most bus companies.

Why do four 95's show up at the same time while I'm waiting for an 87?  

The 95 is such a frequent run. Some time periods see 95's leaving the start point at intervals of 4 minutes! What can happen is that one 95 gets bogged down, it could be traffic, or passenger volume... and all it takes is 4 minutes of delay to get two 95's running back-to-back. Now what happens is that the lead bus gets overloaded with two trips-worth of passengers, he cannot just bypass because his passengers need to get off the bus. The second bus is not allowed to run early, and it gets bogged down even more as the overloaded bus holds up the second bus. For some reason unknown to man, people want to get on that first bus at all costs rather than walk back to the emptier bus. Then guess who shows up? Bus #3! Now we're downtown, and the buses are stuck in line. It's a viscous cycle!

Why do some buses have A1 ME on the rear sign?

Purely a technical glitch with the signs and the computers that run them. Contrary to popular belief, the driver has very little control over the signs. The Clever Devices systems take full control over the destination signs. I never really noticed that until you pointed it out, Carl. 



  1. Just read all your posts, and I really enjoyed everything you had to say. As a daily rider, I enjoyed seeing it from a driver's perspective. I agree that we should all treat each other like human beings, which is why I say hello and thank you to all bus drivers. I think riders forget that the driver is just another person at work, and I can imagine it isn't easy dealing with the public like you do. Hell, I'm a passenger and most of the time I can't stand other passengers and their rudeness. Anyway, I could go on and on, but just wanted to say you've got yourself another reader. Keep it up!

  2. Here is an article from the New Scientist. "Why three buses come at once, and how to avoid it"