Over charging when route changes at terminus

Started by ajw373, October 17, 2014, 11:07:23 PM

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ajw373

There is an interesting discussion going on at The Riotact at the moment about Action supposedly overcharging in some situations.

http://the-riotact.com/seek-a-refund-from-action-for-overcharging/135221

One situation is where a bus gets to a terminus and then changes to a new route number, with passengers staying on board and not tagging off and then back on. When they eventually tag off they get charged the 'penalty' for not tagging off.

Some of the people have come up with a scenario where this happens, and is 'advertised' by google transit as a connection where one stays on the bus.

It is an early morning route 18 south that then changes to a 775, and google transit says "Continue on the same vehicle – it changes route number from 18 to 775 at Lanyon terminus"

So got me thinking how many other 'connections' are there were goggle transit tells people they can stay on the bus. I wouldn't have thought many at all, Also does Action advertise these as a same bus 'transfers' like google transit seems to do. Lastly how would google transit know it is the exact same bus?

Barry Drive

October 18, 2014, 12:06:29 AM #1 Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 12:12:01 AM by ACTbusspotter
It's very common and is caused by the way the GTFS is extracted from HASTUS.

This "feature" should only be used when the bus network / fare system supports it - Adelaide is the only bus system which I'm aware of that operates this way.

Bottom line: passengers MUST always tag off at the end and tag on at the start of a route. Drivers should not be allowing passengers to remain on the bus without re-tagging, despite what Google Transit (and other apps) might say. (Unfortunately many drivers do not understand how the MyWay system works.)

What will happen is the "tag off" at the end of the second route will be treated as a "tag on", because it's a different route. And if the second tag is more than 60 minutes after the first, a default fare will apply. Then when they tag on again for the return journey, another default fare will be imposed.

The Love Guru

No where does ACTION state that passengers are permitted to stay on the bus whilst it is changing trips.
Drivers are required to ensure the bus is empty and secured whilst doing a walk through check after each run.
Some passengers crack the shits when I ask them to get off the bus and reboard when I'm ready to start the next trip. Just as well I'm not there to be popular.

Barry Drive

I have caved in and read the RiotACT post. (Something I thought I'd quit doing.)

Anyway, the circumstance described by the original post does not seem to be about staying on a bus between routes when it changes, but rather when the driver changes the trip BEFORE the passengers have tagged off.

QuoteThe way this is then treated by ACTION's terminal is as though you failed to 'tag off' the first route number, so it forces a tag off from the first route number in the computer system, and 'transfers' you onto the second route number. Because it is doing this as you are physically getting off the bus, the next time that you tag onto a bus, you get a default fare penalty for not having tagged off your previous bus (currently a $1.66 default charge for an adult user).

In the past, ACTION put up signs in the depot telling drivers not to do that, but maybe some driver(s) ignored them. (Or else they are new drivers who ignored their training.) Also, when you're running late for your next departure, there is a temptation to try to save time by allowing new passengers on before the current passengers leave.

Busfanatic101

I end up getting charged about 7 default fares a year. However, the most common scenario i've come across is that when you check afterwards on the action website, the machine thinks you got onto the service which the bus was previously servicing, hence tapping you on when you tap off and a default fare applied.

a recent case was when I tapped onto the 30, it thought i'd tapped onto the 10, which was the service it had just finished. This would be the opposite situation to
Quote from: ACTbusspotter on October 18, 2014, 10:35:29 AM
Anyway, the circumstance described by the original post does not seem to be about staying on a bus between routes when it changes, but rather when the driver changes the trip BEFORE the passengers have tagged off.

where the driver is not changing it properly before letting passengers on, or there being a slight delay between the driver changing it and the machine getting the data

ajw373

Quote from: ... on October 18, 2014, 11:38:47 AM
I end up getting charged about 7 default fares a year. However, the most common scenario i've come across is that when you check afterwards on the action website, the machine thinks you got onto the service which the bus was previously servicing, hence tapping you on when you tap off and a default fare applied.

a recent case was when I tapped onto the 30, it thought i'd tapped onto the 10, which was the service it had just finished. This would be the opposite situation to
where the driver is not changing it properly before letting passengers on, or there being a slight delay between the driver changing it and the machine getting the data

That seems to be the issue that the first poster on The Riot-act had, which is why I guess a later post was going to remind drivers of the correct procedure.

I was curious about the other issue some mentioned where a bus changes route at a terminus. Just would not have though it was all that common.

smitho

October 18, 2014, 10:02:17 PM #6 Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 11:31:55 AM by ACTbusspotter
Quote from: ajw373 on October 17, 2014, 11:07:23 PM
So got me thinking how many other 'connections' are there were goggle transit tells people they can stay on the bus. I wouldn't have thought many at all, Also does Action advertise these as a same bus 'transfers' like google transit seems to do. Lastly how would google transit know it is the exact same bus?

I looked into (and reported) this problem earlier this month. I do a southbound Majura Park Xpresso, followed by a route 64; I get punters on most days asking can they stay on the bus as the "ACTION timetable site" says that the Xpresso continues as the number 64 south of Woden. I then put them straight and none have objected to tagging off and leaving the bus. But it is a time consuming and irritating aspect arising from Google Transit.

To clarify, Google Transit does NOT tell passengers that they can stay on the bus, but rather, that the same bus operates both route services. Some punters even expect that you'll just drop off at Woden then continue on with the next route immediately. In the early days of Network 14, I got the impression that Xpresso passengers thought I would offload passengers at Platform 11 - i.e. the platform where the 64 leaves from, then depart straight away on the 64 to Tuggeranong....not surprising confusion when you look at the wording in Google Transit.

CNG

Really smitho,
That is almost invading the drivers privacy if Google is saying what runs they do after an xpresso and the nerve of people wanting to stay on board I would tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine. How does google transit even find that out ?

Busfanatic101

Quote from: CNG on October 19, 2014, 07:46:11 AM
Really smitho,
That is almost invading the drivers privacy if Google is saying what runs they do after an xpresso and the nerve of people wanting to stay on board I would tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine. How does google transit even find that out ?

Maybe ACTION gives google transit all the shifts rather than the timetables

Maxious

October 19, 2014, 10:42:50 AM #9 Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 11:48:56 AM by ACTbusspotter
Quote from: CNG on October 19, 2014, 07:46:11 AM
Really smitho,
That is almost invading the drivers privacy if Google is saying what runs they do after an xpresso and the nerve of people wanting to stay on board I would tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine. How does google transit even find that out ?

There's a data field called block_id in trips.txt which explicitly says "The block_id field identifies the block to which the trip belongs. A block consists of two or more sequential trips made using the same vehicle, where a passenger can transfer from one trip to the next just by staying in the vehicle." https://developers.google.com/transit/gtfs/reference#trips_fields

This could be used to describe 25* routes - one route 200 to Gungahlin then another route 5* from there on. It isn't though, here's one block with a 252 in it:

Quote
$ grep 4288004 trips.txt
route_id,service_id,trip_id,trip_headsign,direction_id,block_id,shape_id,wheelchair_accessible
252-10276,2014-COMBMAST-Weekday-01,21768326-2014-COMBMAST-Weekday-01,"South",1,4288004,2520020,1
200-10276,2014-COMBMAST-Weekday-01,21772438-2014-COMBMAST-Weekday-01,"North",0,4288004,2000024,1
56-10276,2014-COMBMAST-Weekday-01,21772790-2014-COMBMAST-Weekday-01,"South",1,4288004,560030,1
10-10276,2014-COMBMAST-Weekday-01,21773077-2014-COMBMAST-Weekday-01,"Clockwise",0,4288004,100012,1


Again, for one southbound 791 and the following 64, the block_id is 4214812 and there are two trips in that block.
Quote
$ grep '4214812' trips.txt
route_id,service_id,trip_id,trip_headsign,direction_id,block_id,shape_id,wheelchair_accessible
791-10276,2014-COMBVac-Weekday-00,21310830-2014-COMBVac-Weekday-00,"South",1,4214812,7910010,1
64-10276,2014-COMBVac-Weekday-00,21310981-2014-COMBVac-Weekday-00,"South",1,4214812,640010,1

They could be misusing the block id to actually mean the same vehicle is doing theses trips/runs for the real time transit system (if it's late on one run, going to be late starting the next). That's not the way to do it though.

Barry Drive

October 19, 2014, 11:44:43 AM #10 Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 11:54:58 AM by ACTbusspotter
Quote from: smitho on October 18, 2014, 10:02:17 PM
To clarify, Google Transit does NOT tell passengers that they can stay on the bus, but rather, that the same bus operates both route services.
Actually, it does (say they should stay on the bus) - or at least it doesn't say to get off the bus. Because the block_id is designed to cater for situations where the SAME bus continues as a different route number - such as what occurs in Adelaide.



Quote from: ... on October 19, 2014, 08:35:16 AM
Maybe ACTION gives google transit all the shifts rather than the timetables
In a way they do.

Quote from: Maxious on October 19, 2014, 10:42:50 AM
They could be misusing the block id to actually mean the same vehicle is doing theses trips/runs for the real time transit system (if it's late on one run, going to be late starting the next). That's not the way to do it though.
I think the more likely explanation is that they're not aware of what they're doing or the consequences of it. I'm guessing (hoping) there's an option within HASTUS when they run the extract that allows the block_id to be included and they don't realise that has to be turned off.

Some months ago, I sent ACTION a tweet on this subject. (This was after TransitTimes explained to me about the block_id field and how it was meant to be used.) Not sure if I ever followed it up though.

smitho

Quote from: CNG on October 19, 2014, 07:46:11 AM
Really smitho,
That is almost invading the drivers privacy if Google is saying what runs they do after an xpresso and the nerve of people wanting to stay on board I would tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine. How does google transit even find that out ?

Hey CNG, with your very colourful turn of phrase, I reckon you could make a good speechwriter for Tony Abbott or even Mr Putin if you were happy to defect to the Soviets.

CNG

Quote from: smitho on October 19, 2014, 08:17:07 PM
Hey CNG, with your very colourful turn of phrase, I reckon you could make a good speechwriter for Tony Abbott or even Mr Putin if you were happy to defect to the Soviets.

Haha cheers smitho.

Barry Drive

The new GTFS released earlier this week has excluded block_ids. So no more "continue as" messages.

smitho

Quote from: ACTbusspotter on November 08, 2014, 10:42:20 PM
The new GTFS released earlier this week has excluded block_ids. So no more "continue as" messages.

That is a very welcome development. As things were, it was a real BITB.