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Real Time Bus information in Cornwall

In many sizeable cities you can see displayed at the bus stop the current expected arrival there of the bus you are waiting for. Better yet, many places you can get real-time bus information on your phone about the current bus service times - not simply timetables, but the current time of the actual bus. Why wait outside in horizontal rain for a bus if you can know it is twenty minutes late or even cancelled? All it takes is for the bus company to make available information it usually already has on the position and status of the individual bus. And then there is no more unnecessary waiting, doubt, frustration,and damp.


Here are some examples of real time bus data for passengers from around the country:
London
Edinburgh
Bristol
West Sussex


Until recently this real time information was not available at all in Cornwall, but is now available to those standing at bus stops on two - yes, two - bus routes in Cornwall, Western Greyhound's Truro Park and Ride bus and from 2013 on First Buses 14 and 18 between Truro and Penzance. Cornwall Council spent £425,000 on Firstbus real time stop signage, and yet did not spend the trivial sum necessary to make that information available to everyone everywhere via the mobile web. And so far Cornwall bus operators have generally been slow, erratic and unconcerned about updating cancellation information on their websites, and even unable to answer telephone queries about whether a particular service is in fact running on the day, or rerouted due to roadworks or incidents.


Cornwall's compact settlement pattern means there are many settlements close to one another and good public bus services exist and are in use, locally complemented by the West Penwith Community Bus. Cornwall's buses provide an essential service to residents and visitors alike, delivering good access with a relatively small carbon footprint. and stopping on request outside towns. This means many bus users are not using formal stops, few of which have bus shelters, let alone enclosed shelters suitable to the penetrating rain driven by high winds typical of Cornwall.


A few bus stops in Cornwall now feature a notice allowing passengers to get info to their phones by texting, by typing a web address, or for smartphones by scanning a QR barcodel, or for nfc-enabled smartphones by tapping an NFC tag on the bus stop sign.


To find the timetabled next bus from your location, try Traveline's excellent Next Buses .mobi mobile website, but this is of course not real-time information. Real time train info is available from National Rail


Western Greyhound bus timetables


Firstbus Cornwall timetables


Traveline all SW region public transport


Cornwall Council, who fund buses in Cornwall are saying on their website page about real-time transport that "Cornwall Council is keen to extend the technology to other services and hopes to work with local bus operators to enable this on all services into and out of Truro." So it seems Cornwall Council do not plan to supply this info for bus users in the rest of the County.

Why not email Cornwall Council to ask them why this is so. Or contact your councillor or MP.