Oxontime - Oxfordshire's Real-Time Information system for bus users
'Oxontime' is a partnership between independent bus operators
and Oxfordshire County Council. It is a cost-sharing Public-Private
Sector partnership that brings benefits for all parties.
It works in this way;
- the operators install
automatic vehicle location (AVL) equipment - basically this is
satellite navigation equipment - and radio-communication equipment
on their vehicles. This is all part of 21st Century
fleet-management that helps them operate their services as closely
as possible to timetables.
- by merging the AVL information
with the information about the journey from the electronic ticket
machine it then becomes the fundamental part of running a Real-Time
Information (RTI) service. All the vehicles are constantly updating
their position to within a few metres using global positioning
satellite (GPS) technology and sending this information back to a
central base-station every few seconds.
- by comparing the location of
all the buses in real-time to their scheduled or expected locations
we can make predictions of how they will progress along their set
routes and specifically, make predictions of when they should
arrive at each stop.
- the predictions for all these
RTI-enabled services can then be sent out to the public in one of
several ways - via this website www.oxontime.com, by SMS
texting service to mobile phones, to 'apps' created for smartphones
(iOS, Andorid, Windows Phone) and to the on-street displays that
are found at many bus stops. Our complete set of predictions for
all buses running all the services is updated every 30 seconds or
- the County Council's
responsibility is quite varied; it includes bringing all the data
together from the different operators, working with the specialist
company that supplies and maintains the Oxontime RTI system, and
installing and maintaining all the means by which we provide the
information for the bus users across Oxfordshire. The County
Council also maintains the main point of contact between the public
and the Oxontime partners using the firstname.lastname@example.org email
What you see?
For a journey which is been run correctly in RTI-mode, the
OxonTime system will make a prediction of when it will
arrive/depart from your stop. This is presented in the format
'8min' - which means that we are confident that under normal
running conditions the bus is, in this example, 8 minutes away.
Most on-street displays will only show buses a maximum of 30
minutes away but a few show longer predictions. The SMS and web
services show longer predictions.
If instead of a prediction you see a 'clock' time looking
something like '15:35' this means that the journey is not being run
in RTI-mode. Quite possibly the bus will have a fault or it might
be that no bus has logged-on to this journey yet. The time shown
will be that at which the schedule (timetable) expects the bus to
be there. In general we do not show these scheduled times except on
the SMS service and on certain city centre shelter-displays.
With developments of mobile phone-based internet-applications
arriving thick and fast we are keen for the OxonTime website to
have a dedicated 'mobile' face. While we work on this with our
developers it is still possible to access this regular OxonTime
website quite adequately on some mobiles while on others it can be
better if the 'text only' option is used.
We value feedback about any or all aspects of the OxonTime RTI
services. If you have ideas about how we could improve the system
in general, our website, our SMS service or if you wish to report
faulty equipment, please email: email@example.com.