Friday, January 15, 2010

Google Transit & Ride Guide Corrections

(This post is going to be rambly. Summary: Ride Guide times are wrong for 22 and 53. This is probably why Google Transit was down. It is now back up again, and Google Transit has all the correct times for the affected routes. For details of the printing errors, read on.)

I was on the 53 Bear Runner last night home from campus and I noticed a Rider Alert flier, noting that the times printed in the most recent Ride Guide for that route were incorrect. In the last iteration of the Bear Runner, RTA simply kept the schedule that UCR assigned to the route, which gave the drivers an absurd 2 minutes to get from Canyon Crest & El Cerrito to the University Village. While UCR operated the route, they didn't exactly care about on-time performance, so this wasn't a major issue for them. RTA, however, has different metrics, and has changed this spacing to 4 minutes. The route is now an every-32-minute loop, and this changes times around a bit.

After checking out the RTA web site, I also found that the 22's schedule had some errors in it. The school tripper services, specifically the southbound ones, are printed incorrectly. (RTA doesn't specifically list the errors.)

My curious nature then led me to check whether or not RTA's Google Transit data properly reflects the adjusted times, and it does for both routes. I therefore assumed that this error was the cause of the outage earlier this week. So, when planning a trip on either of these routes, remember to check with either the Internet-posted schedules (22, 53), Google Transit, Dadnab, or the RTA Customer Information Centre at (800) 800-7821.

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