The software system for telling Canberrans where their buses are has been down for 4 days, and commuters are getting frustrated, according to the Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR).
Canberrans use NXTBUS to get ‘real-time’ information on when their bus will arrive. There are also third party apps like AnyTrip and NextThere which use the NXTBUS data to provide more advanced bus tracking and journey planning. But since Saturday, these apps have been showing error messages, leaving passengers in the dark.
But the ACT Government is denying there are any problems, adding to passenger frustrations, explained PTCBR Chair, Ryan Hemsley. “We’ve been raising this with the Government for several days now, and we keep getting told that the testing suggests everything is working, and it’s a problem with the apps. It’s not actually clear whether NXTBUS is working. Meanwhile, the three main apps have data for light rail and Queanbeyan, but nothing from the buses. It’s frustrating the Government isn’t believing what passengers are actually saying.”
The ACT Government has just signed a contract for a replacement system, but this isn’t due to commence for some time. Mr Hemsley said the government needs to keep to the old system operating in the meantime. “Passengers rely on this information to plan their journeys and interchanges, and to know whether their bus has been cancelled. It’s not acceptable for it to be out for an extended period of time like this.”
Ryan Hemsley is the Chair of the Public Transport Association of Canberra, the Canberra region’s public transport lobby group.