Disruptions and driver shortages

263 Replies, 15557 Views

(04 Sep 2021, 9:25 am)Keeiajs Wrote: Why doesn't Arriva has radios?
They never have. When there's an issue, the driver has to get off the bus and phone in - and so much of their rural network has a lousy mobile signal.
(05 Sep 2021, 11:20 pm)BusLoverMum Wrote: They never have. When there's an issue, the driver has to get off the bus and phone in - and so much of their rural network has a lousy mobile signal.
Very useless. I mean what if a bus is stuck in a county and no signal...really shows how much they care.
(05 Sep 2021, 11:20 pm)BusLoverMum Wrote: They never have. When there's an issue, the driver has to get off the bus and phone in - and so much of their rural network has a lousy mobile signal.

That assumes someone even answers the phone. I've been on the bus a couple of times where the driver has tried to phone in and they've got no answer.
(05 Sep 2021, 11:24 pm)Keeiajs Wrote: Very useless. I mean what if a bus is stuck in a county and no signal...really shows how much they care.
Supposedly they trialed radios in the past here but struggled with signal on some of the routes due to being rural and being too far from the depot, probs have more chance of contacting via phone than radio although harder to send details of Disruptions without one.

Don't know if Arriva has the ability to send messages to drivers via the Ticketer ticket machines or not, I'm aware Plymouth Citybus has the ability to do so.
AFAIK Arriva North East and Northumbria, especially Northumbria have never used Radios or trialled them.
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(06 Sep 2021, 7:12 pm)Rapidsnap Wrote: AFAIK Arriva North East and Northumbria, especially Northumbria have never used Radios or trialled them.
Durham County did, up to around 2015.

They now have use of the text messaging system built into Ticketer for the majority of their driver communication.
(06 Sep 2021, 7:57 pm)RobinHood Wrote: Durham County did, up to around 2015.

They now have use of the text messaging system built into Ticketer for the majority of their driver communication.
Yeah, it happened on the 35, here was a crash at herrigton and they listed the diversion through the ticket machine.

Also both 35/X20/60/X6 had timetables today!
Another day and another load of services being cancelled - bad week for GNE so far and it's only Tuesday.
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(07 Sep 2021, 2:50 pm)Michael Wrote: Another day and another load of services being cancelled - bad week for GNE so far and it's only Tuesday.

It's not magically going to go away the staff shortage unfortunately. I don't think there's enough going through the driving school at the minute either.
(07 Sep 2021, 2:50 pm)Michael Wrote: Another day and another load of services being cancelled - bad week for GNE so far and it's only Tuesday.
It's gonna happen. We are in a struggling time. What's to say half of the mechanics and drivers are of due to covid. It's probably the reason the amount of service cancelled
(07 Sep 2021, 4:36 pm)deanmachine Wrote: It's not magically going to go away the staff shortage unfortunately. I don't think there's enough going through the driving school at the minute either.


Indeed, and I’ve heard today that the level of disruption at Go North East is minuscule compared to Arriva Durham. Just puts into perspective the differing levels of customer communications.


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(07 Sep 2021, 5:09 pm)Dan Wrote: Indeed, and I’ve heard today that the level of disruption at Go North East is minuscule compared to Arriva Durham. Just puts into perspective the differing levels of customer communications.


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To be honest, I'd take Arriva's 'communication' over GNE's any day, since cancelled services are actually reported in the app I don't have to load Twitter, find GNE's account and scroll in hopes I can find something about the service I'm waiting for. 
I can simply load the Arriva app (this assumes it actually works lol), and it will tell me if the bus is running on time, if not, how late it's going to be, or if it's cancelled altogether.
With GNE I usually just get that the bus is due in 5 minutes for a while, then it just drops off the app!

GNE's new app is genuinely terrible to use when tracking buses, I actually continued to use the old app until it stopped working!
(07 Sep 2021, 5:09 pm)Dan Wrote: Indeed, and I’ve heard today that the level of disruption at Go North East is minuscule compared to Arriva Durham. Just puts into perspective the differing levels of customer communications.


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Assuming the passengers use social media, then yes, I would agree.
If not, then not at all.
The 'transparency' for those people without social media won't have a clue and there's absolutely no transparency as far as they're concerned.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(07 Sep 2021, 8:18 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: Assuming the passengers use social media, then yes, I would agree.
If not, then not at all.
The 'transparency' for those people without social media won't have a clue and there's absolutely no transparency as far as they're concerned.

Totally agree.
I don't know about you, but even as a Twitter addict when I'm standing at a bus stop and the bus is late, the first thing I do isn't go to Twitter and search GNE's recent Tweets to see if they happened to have mentioned the service I'm waiting for, it's check the app, because I probably already had it open to either check the times or have my ticket.

Unfortunately, for those without a smartphone there's very little that GNE can do. I don't know how the backend works, but they could potentially try and get DCC and Nexus to update the displays at bus stations with live info (I doubt that would be possible).
I do like the idea of the E-ink displays they're trialling, but like everything else in the industry, those companies rolling it out are no doubt charing way over the odds for what is a very simple product, so I can't personally see it being rolled out to all bus stops, or even those in 'key' areas to be honest.
(07 Sep 2021, 8:32 pm)streetdeckfan Wrote: Totally agree.
I don't know about you, but even as a Twitter addict when I'm standing at a bus stop and the bus is late, the first thing I do isn't go to Twitter and search GNE's recent Tweets to see if they happened to have mentioned the service I'm waiting for, it's check the app, because I probably already had it open to either check the times or have my ticket.

Even if folk did check their Twitter feed, they pump out so many Tweets that it's likely people would either skip it or get sick of looking. The Tweets are also huge, with the integrated picture for the app link, one Tweet takes up my entire feed on my laptop screen for example! Since 19:00, there have been 19 service updates, all bar one includes an app link. Do folk need reminded that often, surely just pin it?

I always find myself checking bustimes to see if my bus is delayed - at least it gives me an actual timetable that I can look at alongside where the bus is, and shows me if the bus has stopped somewhere. The only bus app I've found useful was the old Arriva one, the new one is too buggy for anything but m-tickets for me - though you've mentioned it still retaining the bus cancelled/actual delay update features which was always the key.
(07 Sep 2021, 8:32 pm)streetdeckfan Wrote: Totally agree.
I don't know about you, but even as a Twitter addict when I'm standing at a bus stop and the bus is late, the first thing I do isn't go to Twitter and search GNE's recent Tweets to see if they happened to have mentioned the service I'm waiting for, it's check the app, because I probably already had it open to either check the times or have my ticket.

Unfortunately, for those without a smartphone there's very little that GNE can do. I don't know how the backend works, but they could potentially try and get DCC and Nexus to update the displays at bus stations with live info (I doubt that would be possible).
I do like the idea of the E-ink displays they're trialling, but like everything else in the industry, those companies rolling it out are no doubt charing way over the odds for what is a very simple product, so I can't personally see it being rolled out to all bus stops, or even those in 'key' areas to be honest.

I've suggested push messages in the past.
Simple and effective and assuming someone has signed up for an update, pretty straightforward (I'd assume).
Im sure Nexus had some Nfc functions on their stops at one point. No idea if they're still active or not.

However, it all boils down to communication and ensuring users (regardless of any mitigating factors) have the information and can get it easily.

I reckon it would have been 7 or 8 years ago, but I was doing some work in rural Lincolnshire. Decided to do some gricing and used the train and bus for my trip.
Due to the nature of the road network down there, one closure means huge diversions and on this particular trip, a stretch of road from Woodhall Spa was completely shut for resurfacing.
Lincs Council had sorted out a shuttle to take passengers to Tattershall, to connect with the diverted IC service between Boston and Lincoln.
I was heading towards Tattershall on the shuttle and on approaching each stop, the driver would check with punters heading in the opposite direction, to ensure they knew the road further up was closed and to inform them of the diversion.
I'm not saying that GNE or whoever else need to instruct their drivers and get them to let every single punter waiting that there are delays - but I was very impressed with the customer service and dedication on offer in that particular case.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(07 Sep 2021, 8:47 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: However, it all boils down to communication and ensuring users (regardless of any mitigating factors) have the information and can get it easily.

The best examples I've had of this are at Haymarket where the (I assume Jesmond based) Arriva supervisor has informed passengers of delays, cancellations, or alternative plans (e.g an X15 has been spun at Regent Centre and will wait there, get on the next X21/22 and the X15 will be expecting you). Far more direct than a post on Twitter and having to figure it out yourself, and also more accessible. Granted though, only possible at major bus stations where staffing allows.
(07 Sep 2021, 8:51 pm)mb134 Wrote: The best examples I've had of this are at Haymarket where the (I assume Jesmond based) Arriva supervisor has informed passengers of delays, cancellations, or alternative plans (e.g an X15 has been spun at Regent Centre and will wait there, get on the next X21/22 and the X15 will be expecting you). Far more direct than a post on Twitter and having to figure it out yourself, and also more accessible. Granted though, only possible at major bus stations where staffing allows.

Ownership and responsibility isn't it?
That's all passengers are asking for - rather than a 'we are transparent and share stuff on social media'.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(07 Sep 2021, 8:51 pm)mb134 Wrote: The best examples I've had of this are at Haymarket where the (I assume Jesmond based) Arriva supervisor has informed passengers of delays, cancellations, or alternative plans (e.g an X15 has been spun at Regent Centre and will wait there, get on the next X21/22 and the X15 will be expecting you). Far more direct than a post on Twitter and having to figure it out yourself, and also more accessible. Granted though, only possible at major bus stations where staffing allows.


Indeed, and Go North East have bus station supervisors across the network doing this too - but they don’t work 24/7, much as I suspect Arriva’s don’t either.


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(07 Sep 2021, 8:41 pm)mb134 Wrote: Even if folk did check their Twitter feed, they pump out so many Tweets that it's likely people would either skip it or get sick of looking. The Tweets are also huge, with the integrated picture for the app link, one Tweet takes up my entire feed on my laptop screen for example! Since 19:00, there have been 19 service updates, all bar one includes an app link. Do folk need reminded that often, surely just pin it?

I always find myself checking bustimes to see if my bus is delayed - at least it gives me an actual timetable that I can look at alongside where the bus is, and shows me if the bus has stopped somewhere. The only bus app I've found useful was the old Arriva one, the new one is too buggy for anything but m-tickets for me - though you've mentioned it still retaining the bus cancelled/actual delay update features which was always the key.

Yeah, the new Arriva app is fairly buggy, but for me closing it and reopening it usually solves the problem. At least the M-tickets seem to work even if the app is borked.

(07 Sep 2021, 8:47 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: I've suggested push messages in the past.
Simple and effective and assuming someone has signed up for an update, pretty straightforward (I'd assume).
Im sure Nexus had some Nfc functions on their stops at one point. No idea if they're still active or not.

However, it all boils down to communication and ensuring users (regardless of any mitigating factors) have the information and can get it easily.


I like the idea of push notifications, but I think that would be fairly difficult to implement without irritating people. I think obviously it would have to require people to 'subscribe' to notificaitons for a particular route, but would I have to set it up in the morning before I leave, deactivate it once I get to wherever to stop me getting notified throughout the day when I'm probably busy, then reactivate it before I leave?

I think a better, simpler option would be to basically copy what Arriva does, and just show on the live times if a bus is delayed or cancelled, rather than just updating the time and pretending it's running to timetable, or just removing the service and pretending it doesn't exist!

You're right, NEXUS did (and I believe still does) have NFC tags at stops, but last time I tried they didn't work at all. They didn't even direct me to a dead link, they literally did nothing.