Our bus stops have unique reference numbers so you can identify them for various purposes. On this website they will normally act as links to take you directly to the information you want but the same unique numbers can also be used 'remotely' - for instance with our SMS text-messaging service; in this case you might want to write them in your diary or save them on your mobile phone.
Mostly they will be 8-figure numbers that begin with 693 but a few will be shorter or will begin with a different sequence - more on this later.
If you identify any bus stop from this Oxontime website you will see the number displayed prominently.
We also try to display them at the bus stop itself - usually on
a special plate attached to the bus stop pole.
Bus operators are also choosing to write them in their printed
Whatever the source, the same Stop Code will be used for the same stop - they are unique. For a very small number of stops we give the number zero; we do not give departure information from these stops because you cannot board the bus there (but they help us keep the system in order).
In most cases our Stop Code numbers are part of a national numbering scheme which is why all the Oxfordshire stops begin 693 . It is where bus or coach services cross into other regions that you will see slightly different codes; those in the Reading area begin 734 and are only 7-figures long; those in Buckinghamshire are 8-figure long and begin with 282. No matter what format they take, if we quote them on this site they will be recognised by all Oxontime services.
If the Oxontime bus stop search-engine recognises even a fragment of the stop name it will offer up a list for your further selection so you do not need to remember the whole name exactly. The stop name should be the same used by each operator in their timetables and also displayed on the street furniture at the stop itself. For historical reasons this might not always the case but we do out best to keep everything co-ordinated.
Some District search options let you search outside Oxfordshire but will only list stops covered by Oxontime RTI services, and you'll only be able to get RTI data if we have assigned a unique Stop Reference number (see above). Districts are 'political' regions and don't always make logical sense to someone who is not already familiar with the local area. Essentially 'Districts' are used to list the Localities- so you could always try the Locality search option if you know even a fragment of it's name and do not want to delve into the lists of Districts.
Localities are the names of quite a number of different places or things; names of towns, cities, districts, suburbs, shopping centres, car-parks.
You can find them in the Oxontime system by entering just a fragment of their name. In fact, if you try to be too specific (or enter too many characters) you might be less-likely to find what you want. If what you enter is ambiguous you'll be offered the list of all items that match your entry so you can make another choice.
The Localities are closely related to Districts so you might want to search by District as an alternative.
Not everything you might think of as worthy of being called a Locality might be found in our system, the County can only be sub-divided up so many ways.
We strive to produce a useable mapping tool for you to find bus-stops. With the restructuring of the website in April 2012 we have changed to a faster option than was previously available. However, at the outset the bus-stop icons are somewhat larger than we had before and in a few cases where there are clusters of stops, overlying stop icons prevent the selection of some underlying ones. We are working to find a solution for this.
Some search options work on a list of bus stops that is larger than the currently active RTI stop list. It can therefore draw out some anomalies. If you find it states that there are 'No current departures from this stop' in reality it means there are 'No RTI departures from this stop'.
This is noticeable at most 'timing points' which might include the terminus - in fact, wherever a bus might stand at the stop for a short while.
To make the Oxontime system generally more reliable we get the displays to drop the predictions for a bus when it arrives within the vicinity of the stop. We call this 'local clear-down'. For the great majority of stops this is seen as a benefit because it goes a long way to ensuring that a bus is not shown as 'Due' when in fact it has already gone past the stop.
However, local clear-down can become a problem where the bus has to stand and wait before it's departure. The prediction for the bus clears from the display on its arrival at-stop meaning that any departure time still showing for this service is probably the later departure.
Our recommendation is that you board the first available bus that is going in your direction, irrespective of what the Real-Time display might be showing.