Thursday, 26 June 2008

I said it was coming....

Yup, I said I would rant about the stupid little red LED display on bus stops, and now it's here.

As a convenience TFL put a little display on many bus stops in London, mainly on the ones where they are less likely to be vandalised. These displays have two purposes. Firstly they are intended to inform you of the expected wait time for he arrival of your bus. Secondly, they are designed with the purposes of pissing me off. 

It is, of course, by doing the former, that they achieve the latter. The display lights up with a list of busses and the time until they arrive. Fair enough you say to yourself, I have to wait 3 minutes for the 33 to arrive I'll wait. Where it gets frustrating is when you realise that whoever determines the time display has an entirely different concept of time to the rest of the world. Three minutes could be 15, or it could mean that the bus has already left. It will tell you that the bus is due for five minutes when before it was due it was going to arrive in two. It in fact tells you nothing, it purports to oh yes, it shows information that has nothing to do with reality, and that is just no good.

It's almost better when it has failed entirely, and just says countdown and nothing else. At least that way it's not telling you anything wrong, it won't be telling you fibs. I hate it, mainly because every time I see the figures on there I believe them, I use it to decide if I'll wait for the bus, and when I do, it's invariably the wrong decision.

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