'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;
- Bus 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 modern fleet-management practice that helps them operate their services as closely as possible to the published 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 regularly 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 Live-Travel 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 the on-street displays that are found at many bus stops and by API to other systems and collaborators. Our complete set of predictions for all buses running all the services is updated every 30 seconds or so.
The County Council's responsibility is quite varied; it includes empowering the specialist contractors to bring all the data together from the different bus operators 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 address.
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. Please bear in mind that not all bus services are shown on Oxontime. See the complete list of RTI-equipped bus and coach servcies on our coverage page.
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.