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Topic: why do buses always come in 3s? , math book?
Replies: 69   Last Post: Jun 19, 2000 2:26 AM

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 greg byshenk Posts: 2 Registered: 12/13/04
Re: why do buses always come in 3s? , math book?
Posted: Jun 19, 2000 2:26 AM

Fred Klein <KdmlivesREMOVE@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Marc VanHeyningen wrote:
> > >greg byshenk wrote:
> > >> Fred Klein <KdmlivesREMOVE@hotmail.com> wrote:

> > >> > Modern technology is not needed. Simply schedule the busses,
> > >> > and have them stick to the schedule. ie:

> > >> The problem with this simple answer is that, in many places, the second
> > >> part is impossible -- unless one pads the schedules so much that one ends
> > >> up with buses waiting absurdly long periods at timepoints.

[...]

> > It means instead of having to worry that
> > heavy traffic might make your bus ride take forever, you will know for
> > sure that your bus ride will take forever waiting at timepoints no
> > matter what the traffic is like.

> > Is that really an improvement?

> Well, the timing would be adjusted so for maximum
> efficiency. The MTA[1] already has people out there
> observing the buses and recording the times they hit certain
> stops. Simply feed this info into a computer, and -Bing!-
> out pops a schedule that wastes as little time as possible.

It sounds to me as if you don't understand the nature of the problem.

The problem is not that no one can figure out the time it takes to go
from point A to point B, but that there is no _the_ time it takes for
that journey. From one time to another, or from one day to another, or
even from 4pm Monday this week to 4pm Monday next week, the time it
takes a bus to make that journey may be very different -- and for
reasons that are largely, if not wholly, beyond the control of the
transit agency.

In such situations, the only way to ensure that buses arrive "on time"
is to pad the schedule enormously, such that the "scheduled" time is
on the order of twice what the most common travel time now is.

For example, under what you appear to be proposing, a trip that now
takes 20 minutes normally, 30 minutes occasionally, and 40 minues
every now and then, would be replaced by a trip that _always_ takes
40 minutes. While this would allow buses to be 'on time', it would
require lots of wasted time during many of the bus's trips, and is
unlikely to be seen as an improvement by passengers.

[followups directed outside of the 'puzzle' groups]

--
greg byshenk - gbyshenk@byshenk.net o__
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