Bus schedules, what a concept!

Most people know that I am a big defender of the SEPTA system—not their management or their drivers’ lovely people skills, but definitely their routes and buses. One thing I’ll never understand is the lack of printed timetable schedules on buses.

Yesterday morning, while waiting for the bus to get to work, an older gentleman asked me if I knew when the bus would come. Coincidentally, I had a schedule on me. I took it out of my bag and gave it to him, so he would also know when to get his return bus. We got to talking about routes and schedules, and he mentioned that he often sees the schedule slots on the buses empty. I’ve noticed this as well, but also it seems that when there are schedules on the bus, they are for a completely different route, e.g. Route 56 schedules on the 12.

So what’s up with that?

Has anyone ever picked up a bus schedule for that route while actually on that bus route?

4 Comments so far

  1. jen (unregistered) on March 9th, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

    nope, they’re either empty or stocked with something else. i wonder how the whole bus designation system works – i.e. which bus goes to which route. i’m sure they change all the time. the drivers don’t seem to stock the schedules – same for the trolleys. the best place to get a schedule seems to be the regional rail stations or 69th street. of course they only stock the routes that go there!


  2. mike (unregistered) on March 9th, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

    SEPTA could act like a real transit system and have schedules posted on the bus stops, like in lesser cities like DC or NYC.


  3. Joseph Rizzuto (unregistered) on March 10th, 2007 @ 1:45 pm

    Busses are assigned to routes based on availability at the time of that particular runs pull out of it’s depot. Each depot has up to 28 different routs and hundreds of different runs. It is up to the operators to pick up schedules, if any are in stock, for the route he or she are going out on. Unfortunately operators only get 10 minutes to pick up their paper work and transfers, find out which buss they are to take out, check out their bus and do a complete bus pretrip including checking all the lights, brakes, air pressure, damage seats, wipers and clean out the trash left by passengers on the previous run. This leaves no time for stocking schedule bins. Add to this the fact that when an operator does stock them more times than not they are scattered all over the bus by passengers using them for scrap paper and light reading.


  4. Andrea (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    Thanks Joseph! That makes a lot of sense, and solves yet another mini-mystery for me.



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