Cancelled bus services

Cancelled bus services  

  By: hught on Nov. 2, 2018, 3:33 p.m.

I think I know the answer to this, but there's no harm asking...

Do you have anything in any data feed that tells you when a scheduled bus service has been cancelled? It's standard practice in the rail industry (and haven't Cambridge folk needed it since mid-May!!!). But I suspect the nature of the live bus data - which seems to derive from "active" buses themselves - means that this data simply doesn't exist (beyond what's recorded in the control rooms of the operators).

Clearly not critical for high-frequency routes/times of day, but there are plenty of services that don't fall into that category.

Thanks.

Re: Cancelled bus services  

  By: jw35 on Nov. 5, 2018, 10:40 a.m.

By a cancelled bus service I'm assuming you mean something like 'The 0715 departure from Drummer Street to Little Wibbling last Thursday', rather then 'The Citi 7'?

As it happens I've been doing some work to match the real-time position information that we receive (which we call 'trips') against published timetable 'journeys'. This was partly as a quality control exercise, but I was also interested to see if I could analyse punctuality and cancellations. For a variety of reasons this isn't easy, but what I do know is that out of about 2,500 journeys in and around Cambridge per day Mon-Fri, we get no trip data for about 300 of them. Some of these are because some of the smaller operators don't seem to provide real-time data, and some could be casue by faulty position recording equipment, but the rest presumably represent journeys that never happened.

Unfortunately we aren't currently able to publish the real-time data on which this is based, so we can't make the raw data available. The tools that perform the analysis are in GitHub at https://github.com/SmartCambridge/timetable_matching, and the DESCRIPTION.md file in that repository explains the methodology and includes some indicative numbers.

If you would be interested in talking about this further, and perhaps seeing the tooling in action, then contact us off-line at info@smartcambridge.org and we'll sort something out.

Jon.

--
Jon Warbrick
Adaptive Cities Programme, University of Cambridge

Re: Cancelled bus services  

  By: jw35 on Nov. 5, 2018, 2:12 p.m.

In the context of Smartpanels, this all means that we can't definitively say that a service has been cancelled. The lack of a real-time data icon against a service that should be on the road is a big hint that it has been cancelled, but it could of course just be running really late and this doesn't help for a service that hasn't started yet. As you say, a decision to cancel probably only exists in a control room somewhere, or even just on the street.

That said, I can see that such an indication would be really useful so we'll keep in mind finding some way to provide one.

Jon.

--
Jon Warbrick
Adaptive Cities Programme, University of Cambridge