Bus time displays 'nearly 100pc accurate'

Cormac Murphy

DUBLIN'S real-time information system for buses is nearing 100pc accuracy, despite passenger complaints, transport chiefs insist.

It comes as more of the signs displaying bus arrival times are being rolled out across the city.

The Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) system was hailed a success by the National Transport Authority (NTA), which is funding the project with taxpayers' money.

However, only about one in 10 bus stops are equipped with the digital displays.

The NTA's director of public transport, Anne Graham, said some complaints from the public may have been sparked by a misunderstanding.

When an arrival time remains on two minutes for longer than expected, it shows the sign is working as "we have a dynamic bus service and you may get a delay", Ms Graham explained.

NTA surveys reveal that accuracy levels have "improved dramatically", with some displays hitting the 100pc mark in recent times, she said.

Nevertheless, on April 20, there was a system failure which caused the whole network of signs to malfunction.

"Those system errors are very infrequent and generally we found that the level of accuracy has improved really to a level that we find very acceptable and I think the public will as well," Ms Graham said.

For Dublin Bus, the main issue has been the scaling up of the project to reach more areas.

While the company accepts it is not perfect, accuracy levels have been excellent, the semi-state's Derry O'Leary told city councillors.

The NTA is introducing an online journey planner service, allowing passengers to map out their trips over a variety of public transport modes.

Users will be able to find out the most convenient route by inputting a starting point and a destination.

Ms Graham said it was hoped to be in operation in June.