Metlink Information Line: 0800 801 700
Read the questions and answers below to find out how RTI works, where you can find it and what the display signs look like – and much more.
What is RTI?
RTI is up-to-the minute information on when a bus or train service is due, based on where the vehicle actually is (from GPS vehicle tracking) – rather than where it should be.
Where are the display signs installed?
Around 190 electronic display signs will be installed at key bus stops such as the Golden Mile, suburban centres, universities, polytechnics, hospitals, recreation centres and tourist attractions such as the Zoo, Zealandia and Otari Wiltons Bush. Another 60 display signs have been installed at most train stations.
What does a RTI display sign look like?
A RTI display sign has a digital screen on the front showing the real time information. The display signs have been installed either near the top of a steel pole or shelters at bus stops and train stations.
Why won't RTI be available in Otaki and for Wairarapa bus services?
RTI is installed where there is the greatest number of public transport users. RTI could be extended in the future.
Why can some departure times be shown as actual times and others as numbers of minutes?
When a bus or train is being tracked by RTI the times shown are the actual number of minutes until that vehicle arrives at the relevant stop or station, for example, ‘12min’ or ‘Due’ if the service is less than 90 seconds away.
If a bus or train isn’t being tracked it’s because it hasn’t started its journey or there may be a problem with the vehicle's connection to the system. A sheduled time will be shown instead, which is the time the bus is due to arrive according to the regular timetable, for example '12:35'. Services that have been cancelled show as 'CAN' on the display.
What happens if there are traffic delays or service disruptions?
RTI is smart. It constantly learns the effects of different conditions on different days and uses this information to ensure accurate predicted arrival times. In the case of major service disruptions, RTI can be used to provide status information or other messages to waiting passengers, enabling travel plans to be amended if necessary.
Is RTI available on the Metlink website?
As RTI is introduced to operators’ services, the information will be available online for all bus stops (excluding Wairarapa and Otaki at this stage) and train stations through the Metlink website. You can view the information on the home page through ‘Live Departures’ and ‘Stop Information’. So, you can view live departure times before heading to your stop or station from your home or work. RTI is also available on the Metlink mobile site m.metlink.org.nz
Will RTI be shown in journey plans?
No, the majority of journey plans are for journeys in the future, where RTI does not exist. User testing also showed including RTI in journey plans was confusing.
Is RTI available on iPhone apps?
Metlink does not have its own iPhone app, however you can use the mobile site – m.metlink.org.nz.
Our intention is to make the RTI data feed available to third parties, subject to terms and conditions, at a later date.
What about people who can’t see the display signs?
Each display sign is capable of providing an audio announcement of the information shown. In due course, arrangements will be made for blind or partially sighted people who are registered members of one of the recognised blind organisations to be able to activate audio messages using a special key fob.
What else can the RTI data be used for?
RTI can provide a huge amount of data about how services perform in the real world. With the operators, we will use the information to progressively refine timetables to ensure they are as realistic as possible. It will also eventually be used in contractual agreements covering service quality and performance.
How can I keep up-to-date with the roll out?
Find out when RTI goes live on operators’ services and where displays have been installed by keeping an eye on our News stories or by following @metlinkwgtn on Twitter.
How does RTI work at a terminus, does it track the preceding journey?
RTI is tracking buses all the time, and will often be able to provide RTI for your trip before the bus has even begun the journey based on the location of the vehicle. In some circumstances (e.g. where buses begin shifts at the start of a day) this may not always be possible, and in that instance a scheduled departure time is provided until the vehicle arrives at the terminus ready to start its next journey.
Will RTI be on school bus services?
Not initially however we are looking at adding school services in future.
If I’m at a bus stop that doesn’t have a display, how can I access RTI?
RTI will be available for bus stops and train stations, including those without display signs through:
Real Time Information will help make catching public transport easier and more convenient. But as with any new system, there may be one or two teething problems. If you spot something that needs fixing or improving, please get in touch. You can call Metlink on 04 801 7000 or email us email@example.com. We value your feedback.