Sunday, 23 September 2018

Changes on Unilink, First Wessex and First Pompey 15

A couple of changes have happened this weekend...

In Southampton, we have timetable changes on all Unilink routes, including extra morning and late night services on the U1, more morning journeys on the U6 and the U2X being replaced by more journeys on the run of the mill U2. New timetable also on the U9.  Details here.

First in Weymouth have new timetables from today on the following routes:

1, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 8, 10, X51, X53, X54

Summer services X55, 500 and 501 are withdrawn for the winter. See their new timetable book here.

And in Portsmouth, First 15 has a new timetable as it extends on weekdays to connect with the Hayling Ferry.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

More Bournemouth changes this weekend

It's another weekend of bus service changes, again concentrated in Bournemouth, mainly on More.

We were also expecting some kind of change to the timetable on Bluestar 2 from Monday, but the new timetable on Traveline is exactly the same as the current one, so it could just be a minor registration amendment related to the rolling roadworks in North Stoneham. Or maybe it's to do with this.

Anyway, back to Bournemouth for some actual changes. Details from More here.

X3 Bournemouth-Salisbury The 1735 weekdays/1745 Saturday service from Bournemouth will now be an X6 at 1745, no longer serving Boscombe.

X6 Bournemouth-Poole via Ringwood Minor timing changes to most journeys.

X8 Poole-Blandford New stop in the car park of Lidl Blandford. Will also be served by the X8A Blandford town service.

11 Poole-Bearwood Minor changes.

20 Poole-Castlepoint Timetable recast.

38 Ringwood-Ferndown Minor changes with some additional journeys.

40 Poole-Swanage Winter timetable starts.
50 Bournemouth-Swanage Winter timetable starts.
60 Poole-Sandbanks Winter timetable starts.

Ringo One/Two Ringwood town service Minor changes. Last weekday bus now at 1615, instead of 1645.

Plus we have the staggered ending of seasonal summer services on routes 5, 30 and 152.

Staying in Bournemouth, all Unibus routes resume their termtime timetable from Sunday.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Bournemouth changes this Sunday / First mTickets not fixed

Yellow Buses have some major changes from this Sunday 9th September in Bournemouth.

Here's the current network:

...and here's the network that will run from Sunday:

Details of all the changes are here, but here's a quick summary. Click the route numbers for the new timetables:

1/1C Poole-Christchurch The 1 is rerouted to take the 3's old route in Poole, with the 1's old route becoming the 1C. With the 3 being cut back to Westbourne, this means Yellow will only have 4 buses an hour to Poole on Mon-Sat daytimes, while More M1/M2 run every 3/4 mins. There will still be 8 buses an hour between Bournemouth and Christchurch on the 1/1C.

1A Town Centre-Somerford Minor changes.

1B Town Centre-Somerford The main Mon-Sat daytime frequency is cut from every 15 to every 20 mins with most daytime buses running to Two Rivers Meet. Somerford drops from two buses to one an hour (shuttle from Christchurch) for most of weekday daytimes with a large gap in service in the afternoon. Somerford loses all of its 1B Saturday service.

2 Town Centre-Castlepoint More Mon-Sat evening journeys.

3/3A Westbourne-Royal Bournemouth Hospital The 3A is withdrawn and the 3 is amended to run between Westbourne and Bournemouth Hospital. The combined Mon-Sat daytime frequency drops from 8 to 6 buses an hour. For Poole, use the 1/1C.

4/4A Town Centre-Castlepoint/Bearwood Minor changes.

5/5A Town Centre-Kinson Minor changes.

6 Town Centre-Bearwood Minor changes.

8 Boscombe-Mountbatten No longer serves Alderney. Most journeys curtailed to only run as far as Wallisdown Roundabout, with only peak hour journeys running to Mountbatten.

18 Town Centre-Broadstone Minor changes.

36 Talbot View-Kinson Minor changes.

737 Town Centre-Airport Minor changes.

Earlier this week, we reported on nationwide problems with using First's mTicket app. A full working week after the problems first surfaced, they are still not solved.

The app has been promoted by First as a way to speed up boarding by taking payments off the bus. Passengers have been incentivised to use it by offering discounts on many tickets. When it works, it works well. For it to fail for a full week at the busiest times every day is shocking. A company the size of First should have been able to resolve it by now. Has any other operator had such major ticketing problems for a full week?

Monday, 3 September 2018

First ticketing app fails in both rush hours ... NATIONWIDE!

There was chaos today as First's mTicket app failed at the height of both rush hours today. The nationwide outage meant that passengers who had already bought tickets on their mobile were unable to access them in order to use them for travel.

The problem was first reported by First's Twitter feed, which you can always find in the right hand panel on the desktop version of this blog, along with Twitter feeds from all bus operators in our region, at 0740:

No advice for passengers who had paid for tickets on their phone, which they now could not use. I expect Alex was too busy copying and pasting the same message to all of First's other regional Twitter feeds:

At the time I was attempting to get to the day job in Manchester. When the app failed, it gave an error message that insisted the problem was either with my phone or my data connection. I had a few minutes before it was due, so I restarted my phone. As it was restarting, my bus went past, 3 minutes ahead of schedule (a separate issue - and with no warning of such from the live departures app I use). Still believing it was an issue with my phone, I tried the app again. Same message. Then I looked on Twitter:

Again, no advice on what affected passengers should do. I had no cash on me and contactless has not yet been rolled out here, so I gave up, jumped in the car and drove to the nearest park & ride tram stop. Across the country, many thousands of people must have either found another way or just abandoned their journey.

This palaver lasted for the whole rush hour, with the all clear only being given by First at 0948:

Something wasn't right though, because in the evening rush hour, the same thing happened again:

This outage lasted from just before 1722 (we have to assume passengers were being affected and refused travel for several minutes before First admitted the problem on Twitter) right through until...

2015, long after rush hour had ended! As the first weekday after the school holidays, many people will have been trying the bus for the first time - and will have been put off for good by this fiasco.

I'm not hopeful for tomorrow.

Were you affected? Have you experienced something similar with other operators and how did they manage the situation? Tell us in the comments below.