I noticed on Saturday between 5-6pm there were no bus predictions available on Unified API or through legacy API.
The TravelBot told me it couldn’t get any information for the stop, but clearly didn’t know the system was down as it kept asking for my location, presumably imagining that was its problem. I kept sharing it and it kept telling me it ‘couldn’t find information’ (rather than a less ambiguous ‘couldn’t get it’ or ‘couldn’t retrieve it’!) and round we went.
I tried the TfL site and that was less satisfactory as it told me ‘no buses due in the next 30 minutes’ - which was plain wrong. It should clearly know the difference between ‘no system’ and ‘no buses expected’ and passengers could be inconvenienced by thinking the bus service itself is suspended.
So, I am left wondering if there is no stated or recommended way to ensure apps & API users can tell when the system is unavailable. If TfL’s own systems don’t know, I’m guessing not!
All thoughts on this appreciated. I do think it’s vital that TfL at least can show within its own systems when there is a system problem.