8/27/2008

CTS: Strike Two

I'm the kind of person who should be riding the bus. I live less than a mile and a half away from work. My office is two blocks from the bus station. I'm keen to not drive.

However, I'm growing very tired of incidents like today, when the bus-tracking software provided by the Charlottesville Transit Service fails me.

I jumped out of bed at 8:05 AM or so, thinking that my bus would be along in 25 minutes or so. After all, I hear the bus take the left turn in front of my house every hour. I knew that it should be there at about that time. Why would CTS change it during rush hour?

According to the CTS tracker, they did not. At 8:13 or so, the read-out for my bus-stop said the next 4A would be along in 17 minutes. Plenty of time for a shower and to finish getting ready. After my shower, the read-out said 8 minutes. Still plenty of time. I felt good knowing I would help the City reduce its Vehicle Miles Traveled statistic by 3 miles for today.

However, then it got weird. A few minutes later, the tracker showed 5 minutes. And then continued to say 5 minutes. At one point, it went down to 4, and then went right back to 5. At about this time, I could see a mini-bus speeding past It was labeled "SPECIAL" similar to the bus from earlier this month. Did I miss the bus?

According to the tracker, no. I had 3 minutes left. And then, it went down to 2. I left my house, walked to the bus stop in the rain. And waited, and waited, and waited. I phoned Amy to see what the tracker was saying.

30 minutes, she told me.

So, I walked to my car and drove to work so I could get there on time. I'm not pleased. I'm willing to give the system one more chance. Would you? I have a sense I'm more patient than a lot of people, but even my patience is wearing thin.

1 comment:

Sean Tubbs said...

I am willing to admit that I may not have read the schedule fully, but I also think that somehow they rely on the "SPECIAL" bus to serve as the 4A during the 8:30 slot. Maybe the transponder wasn't set. My issue is that the CTS tracker needs to be more sophisticated.