[Talk-transit] Public Transport routing

Jerry Clough - OSM sk53_osm at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Sep 7 15:12:17 BST 2009

The place to start with experimental public-transport routing is Switzerland. The Stundentakt timetable means that one can assume viable connections at most interchanges at least on an hourly basis, so no detailed timetable is required in OSM. In these cases one needs to know frequency (assume hourly) and some idea of speed of travel on various services. In practice for post buses one can assume that the journey takes under half-an-hour or under and hour (obviously there are exceptions, but many of these services have pre-bookable seats, e.g., Postbus from Bellinzona to Thusis). SBB have all this, and walking interchange times on their online timetable and planner: but back 7-8 years ago, their IT department regarded this as their single most complex application. They have none of the complexity of train timetabling and routing which now exist in the UK, to say nothing of the additional complexity of the fare structure.

When OSM is able to generate this route by public transport, we might be in a position to tackle doing it in the UK:
Zurich HBf to Davos Platz via Laax Bergbahnen. From memory it was 4 trains, 3 post buses and a Davos service bus, with every connection made in from 3-4 minutes. 

Personally, I find ticket price has a far bigger impact on when I travel and by which route, and the absence of bus services on Sundays means its the car or not. However, a map of available routes (particularly bus), including all operators, not stopping at local authority boundaries, and potentially available somewhere other than the web..., would be very useful. That's why I'm keen to put bus routes into OSM. So I support Peter's options A & B, but C seems a step too far.

Jerry Clough

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