Back a couple of weeks ago there was a little notice on VOSA
- DEALTOP (PLYMOUTH) LTD
- T/A TARGET TRAVEL,
- LANGAGE SCIENCE PARK, WESTERN WOOD WAY, PLYMOUTH, PL7 5BG
- Variation Accepted by SN:
- Operating between Derriford Hospital
- and Derriford Hospital
- given service number 52
- effective from 23-Nov-2015.
- To amend Timetable.
I have been checking for details on the changes ever since but Target Travel don't make it easy for anyone.
First of all Traveline – They still have the old timetable as at 30th August with no sign of any new timetable about to come into place.
Of course Target Travel themselves have a web site which does have timetables although as at 22nd November that still also display the old timetable.
So its only a small change with one journey held back just under 20 minutes. There probably wont be a lot of passengers waiting and I am hopefully some of the regulars would have paper copies of the new timetable, but for any others its going to be a cold 17 minutes.
Now its only a small detail and it may not affect that many people but it really annoys me that in this day and age where companies and local authorities expect passengers passengers to make full use of the internet to find service details rather than publish proper timetables and make them readily available, that all to often these companies make such a poor attempt at it. A small web site like Target Travels could be updated with a new timetable and proper announcements in a few minutes.
I am not sure of the procedures behind timetables appearing on Traveline but I suspect they rely on the operators to give them the details of new timetables, in which case they have not heard from Target Travel either?
It may be that as the service is operated under tender from Plymouth city Council that its up to them to provide timetables, however they also still have the 1st September ties on their web site.
There is the real time display system at Derriford Hospital. Introduced quite a few years ago this was seen as the future once. However it was never properly rolled out with far too few bus stops having displays and more often than not displays are not working anyway. I have not checked the printed bus stop timetables at Derriford Hospital yet. Maybe they will be correct and up to date, but I am not holding my breath.
Why is it so hard for bus companies to display decent clear easy to find timetables on their web sites?
The Stagecoach site is a joke with far to many steps to go through to get the times you want. Why do you need to select a place name and then a route number ? And even when you do that why cant it just display a proper timetable rather than more links to have to follow? I guess they might say you need to select a place name so you get the correct timetable, but a simple list of route numbers and places served and most passengers would be able to work it out for themselves. But no, Stagecoach insist on a place name first so they can give you the correct timetables . To be fair with services in different areas using the same route numbers you can see how people might get confused. For example if you are looking for service 1 from Tavistock you wouldn't want to confuse it with the other 1 that goes through Bradninch and Uffculme would you? Oh look Stagecoach have done just that with their service updates…
Well if they are confused then its no wonder that passengers are not finding it easy
Even the once mighty Citybus seem to have stepped back with their current site. Its pretty good for mobiles but less useful on PCs. You can download a very comprehensive PDF for most services which are smart but it can take a while to download them and they are nor very print friendly for use on a home printer.
I am pretty computer literate. I spend a lot of time looking up timetables and maps and checking for service news. I have a pretty good idea where to look most of the time. If I have a job tracking down timetables then its a good sign that operators are not doing enough to help their passengers. Do you actually want passengers to use your services? Most are pretty good at telling you all about their latest route branding exercise with lots of pretty buses in nice pretty liveries but the day to day basic routes which most people use are often left wanting
Am I being unfair?