Wellington Finally Gets Real


Wellington finally comes into the real world this afternoon.

Auckland, Christchurch and Hamilton all have real time passenger information systems.

Now Wellington’s is being launched.

Real-time info will be rolled out on all buses in the region, followed by trains.

Trains won’t get it until sometime next year.

The first signs will be switched on at CBD Lambton Quay bus stops this afternoon.

About 200 screens will be installed at key bus stops, and 45 out of 50 train stations will have real time display screens on the platform.

Real time information will be available for Valley Flyer buses from May  Mana and Newlands buses from October.

The system is being put in by a partnership between UK company Advanced Communication and Information Systems Limited (ACIS) and local New Zealand company Kordia.

The cost: $9.7M.

The full system will provide arrival time information at up to 250 display signs at bus stops and most railway stations. The information will also be available via the Metlink website, txtBUS, txtTRAIN and other established sources including Google Transit.

A joint project with KiwiRail is in progress to introduce the information at rail stations.

A report to a Greater Wellington regional council committee in February said this project is now receiving KiwiRail priority and noted that RTPI for rail would also provide passengers with more reliable interchanges with bus services.




  1. Matt says:

    Will it be “real-er” real-time than Auckland’s? Our system’s pretty awful for accuracy, what with relying on bus drivers to log their bus on against the correct route, and the system doing really dumb things with estimates if there’s no logged in bus for a scheduled service.

  2. Matt says:

    [User Error] DataObject::buildSQL: Can’t find data classes (classes linked to tables) for SubsiteDomain. Please ensure you run dev/build after creating a new DataObject.

    Yep http://www.metlink.org.nz/ has got all the bugs out.

    That was the error you get when trying to get it’s front page.

  3. Andrew J says:

    @Matt, the Metlink site is back up

  4. Feijoa says:

    Agree with 1st Matt’s comment on the Auckland system — you can’t call it ‘real time’ when it often shows nothing more than misleading estimates.

    I tried to catch an evening bus from Queen Street last week, and after checking Maxx arrived at the bus stop 10 minutes early. The sign counted down minute-by-minute to DUE, which stayed for about 5 minutes before disappearing. It was another 10 minutes before a bus from another route came along, no sign of the one I’d intended to catch.

    The rush hour signs on Albert Street can’t cope too, as their tiny displays are overwhelmed by the number of buses and show a totally different order to the actual arrival (being able to show real times and order is especially useful when there are that many buses arriving at once).

    The ones I’ve seen in Europe count down with buses kept in actual order and show ‘due’ as the bus appears in the distance and approaches the stop. Why did Auckland pay for this Sigtec product which fails to fulfill its primary purpose? I hope Wellington has done a lot better!

    ps. Does Sigtec’s time/accuracy problems even extend to their press releases? This one dated March 2011 says they’ve just signed a new agreement with the ARTA.

  5. anthony says:

    Im not surprised that Wellington is last in getting the timetable board, except for the outer suburbs, Buses are very frequent and much more reliable compared to the other cities.

    I wonder how the “real time” boards are coping in Christchurch with all the detours and hold-ups going on?

  6. Andrew J says:

    @Anthony In short, they arnt

  7. Luke says:

    I think GWRC are totally useless. They have no future vision for PT in Wellington. All they seem to think is they have great patronage, and it is much higher than Auckland so everything is fine.
    However WGTNs geography is perfect and patronage should be much higher than it is.
    WGTNs rail patronage has only grown 14% between the year ending December 2000 and year ending December 2009.

  8. Kegan says:

    @ Matt
    “Will it be “real-er” real-time than Auckland’s?”

    Yes. A clear distinction is made between buses that are being tracked and those that aren’t. A service that isn’t being tracked shows the timetabled time (eg 10:15) alternating with “SCHED” rather than counting down to “DUE”.

    IMO the main problem with Auckland’s system is that this distinction isn’t made, so an intending passenger has no way of knowing whether the displayed time is “real time” or not.

    “tiny displays”
    Apparently the Golden Mile stops are getting LCD displays that can show the next 12 services, sounds like busy Auckland stops could do with something similar.


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