Is anyone actually going to take responsibility for the bus Working Timetables?

My prediction last week that the number of errors on the TfL WTT pages would exceed 500 by this week was comfortably exceeded. That’s out of about 3200. .

@jamesevans - is anyone actually going to take hold of this? Not necessarily today, given Covid-19 but … ever?

Michael

That would appear to be a “no” then.

I have placed a list of the 537 files involved at

http://timetablegraveyard.co.uk/files_incorrectly_overwritten.htm

That is a 17 per cent error rate. Quite astounding, in the wrong sort of way.

@mjcarchive @jamesevans

Is there something we developers can do to help?

What concerns me most is that the data that is being passed out this way is separate from the (legal) interface between TfL and the bus contractors. In an ideal world, we developers should be seeing the same datasets, at the same time, between the two responsible parties.

I’m very keen personally for the bus data being provided to the public to be as accurate as possible, otherwise people will just use their cars or Uber and make this whole exercise futile.

@briantist @jamesevans

If TfL gave us the slightest clue about what might be going wrong, then maybe developers or even the less sophisticated like me could help.

My guess - and that is all it is - is that the problem is a system which would work perfectly if the human input to it worked perfectly colliding with a human input which is, well, human. That is not always the human’s fault, if they have been given insufficient guidance on what does and does not matter (such as having current and expired files correctly and unambiguously identified).

Years ago I can remember watching some reply “yes” to all the prompts that were designed to ensure stuff was checked. When asked, they said they always replied “yes” because it got them past the prompt!

To update from last week, there are now 560 dodgy links. listed at
http://timetablegraveyard.co.uk/files_incorrectly_overwritten.htm.

There are also some which link to files which are no longer current but which haven’t actually stomped over a newer version. I have not included these in the 560.

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An improvement this week, with more than half the errors being corrected via either loading even more recent schedules or by restoring the correct versions. 272 dodgy links remain, compared with 560 last week.

Interestingly, quite a few of the new schedules loaded carry dates from June or July, which is in line with the suspicion that the distinction between current and expired files is not always being made correctly, but as nobody from TfL is saying anything about the nature of the problem we are left speculating.

The history of all this suggests that there is a fair chance that the corrections will get overwritten by the same old errors next week … but we’ll have to wait and see. Also to see whether teh remaining errors get dealt with.

The 272 dodgy links are listed at http://timetablegraveyard.co.uk/files_incorrectly_overwritten.htm

Here is the weekly update, for all the good it seems to do - nobody in TfL seems to have the slightest interest in engaging with users on this.

A few incorrect WTTs have been replaced by brand new WTTs but none have been replaced this week by the files that they incorrectly overwrote.

Six extra routes have joined the party - 59 85 222 P4 N91 UL18, I should say “rejoined” as one of the features of this whole mess is that routes and file repeatedly oscillate between being OK and not. In the case of the 85 and N91 the files which have been overwritten were only present for the first time last week.

Full list on the same link as before at http://timetablegraveyard.co.uk/files_incorrectly_overwritten.htm.

I come back from a few days away and find that about 260 new errors have been introduced this week. No doubt I will waste a few more hours of my life tomorrow analysing the errors but my first impression is that many of the errors have overwritten new files which were only a week or two old and/or reintroductions of erros that had previously been corrected.

If I were to say what I really thought of this situation I would be banned from this forum forthwith. I trust that I am allowed to say that it is little short of a disgrace that nor only are the errors occurring time and time again but there is no evidence whatsoever of anyone having the remotest interest in doing anything about it, or even promising to do something about it when Covid is eating up less resource,

@jamesevans - while this is probably nothing to do with you personally, do you think a situation where one sixth of the links on an area of the TfL website are wrong is acceptable? How can I escalate this, without of course prejudicing the release of new WTTs?

I have finished my work for this week following the horse round with a shovel and bucket.

Back up to 519 dodgy links, listed at http://timetablegraveyard.co.uk/files_incorrectly_overwritten.htm

That is nearly one in six.

The full range of garbage is visible this week. Route 230 has apparently reverted to its previous opertaor. New files form just a week ago have been overwritten. And for some of the incorrect files it is their second or third appearance as an error.

If I can identify what’s right and wrong, why on earth can’t TfL?

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