How many times has this happened to you? You’re heading to the bus so you glance at your app. The bus is running at least 20 minutes late. Well, shit, you think, but oh well, so you take your sweet time, chatting with your barista crush and petting random doggos on the street until you check the app again. What the %$%#! Now the bus is only two minutes away, dammit!
Next thing you know, you’re running, hot coffee spilling out onto your hands, cursing the Gods of Public Transportation (they are vengeful, angry Gods). Well, bus riders rejoice: Metro Bus has just unveiled a shiny, newly updated transit data-collecting system to make sure that never happens again.
Here’s the super transit-nerd explanation, from Metro’s very own "Logistics Manager" (a new pilot position at Metro): The project, called Stop-Based Scheduling, now uses bus stops instead of key intersections as data points for updating transit schedules, taking into account things like the time it takes for buses to move between service routes, and driver breaks, for example.
The enhanced information is sent to the General Transit Feed Specification (or GTFS), which is then sent to One Bus Away, Google Maps, and other apps. Which means improved real-time scheduling information. It’s possible you even noticed the change already: Stop-Based Scheduling went live on Saturday, September 23.
Meanwhile, poor Bus Stop No. 45990—sitting in the desolate no man’s land wedged between the loud, truck-addled Marginal Way and some freight train tracks in Georgetown—was just voted “The Sorriest Bus Stop in America” by a reader poll on Streetsblog. Despite the fierce competition, the Seattle bus stop beat out all the other stops in a 16 pathetic bus stops nationwide bracket.
But, just wait. Bus Stop No. 45990’s sad story gets even sadder. Here’s the response from King County Metro spokesperson, Scott Gutierrez:
Metro recognizes our bus stop won’t win any beauty contests. It’s in an industrial area and currently has no ridership, with nearby stops that have almost no ridership, and we are currently looking at whether this stop should be removed.
Apparently ZERO people use this bus stop, so it looks like Metro may soon be snuffing out its lonely, ignominious existence once and for all (get the bus stop’s reaction to all this here).