[Tagging] Public Transport Timetables

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 8 12:26:54 UTC 2018

On Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 1:01 AM Graeme Fitzpatrick <graemefitz1 at gmail.com>

> Which page would we prefer - the current departures or the full day?

All of them. :)

Seriously, which one I'd want would depend upon circumstances.  For
planning a journey at
some as-yet-undecided point in the future I'd want to see the full
timetable covering all service
days.  For planning a journey on a whim today, the daily timetable.  If I
found myself dumped near
a bus stop (car breakdown or whatever) then the next departure.  And if I'm
waiting for a bus
that seems to be running late, the live timetable showing how buses are
actually running (more
than once I've missed a bus after a timetable change because the driver was
running to the
old timetable that was ten minutes earlier).

So,  ideally, all of them.  But that makes it complicated to map and to
use.  I'd pick one of them, but
what if on a particular route that one isn't available but the others are?
So I'm tempted to go for
a scheme which allows any or all of them to be specified - gtfs:full=* and
gtfs:next=* and the mapper
can add as many of them as desired.  Maybe have the tag more general so it
can link to non-gtfs
timetables on operator websites too.  Maybe we don't even have to specify
gtfs as we don't really
care the underlying mechanism for ordinary users.  However, routers would
probably want the
raw GTFS tables, so we need to accommodate that.

And please don't forget the possibility of a single route having two
operator whose GTFS feeds
list only their own vehicles on that route.  The tag has to deal with
that.  And semi-colon separators
aren't viable when they're a valid component (although deprecated) in URLs
with query strings.

I know that not everywhere has a usable GTFS, but for those places that do,
> it would appear to be a pretty simple process to make use of it! :-)

I think it would make sense to have a tag for it even if we had gone ahead
with shoehorning
timetables into relations, because if it's available for a route it's a lot
less work and maintenance to
use GTFS.  Even more sense, though, for mappers to input timetable stuff
into GTFS somewhere
if the operators don't provide it rather than shoehorn into a relation.

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