Week 173: seat filler
Some work. I’m now properly using the National Transport Authority (Ireland)’s GTFS trip updates feed, so at last all the users in Ireland (of whom there are some) can see if their Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus or Go-Ahead Ireland bus is delayed or even cancelled. Coincidentally, the NTA is going to upgrade its platform to support vehicle locations and stuff soon, and I’m pretty excited about that.
Once or twice I’ve taken part in user research type things about bus fares open data, and cheekily suggested to the “Whitehall mandarins”/management consultants that dramatically simplifying fares would be easier than trying to model the complicated current situation in an open, standard way. And now I read the news about a rumoured £2 fare cap in England, and of course I don’t seriously think my suggestions have had anything to do with it, but still, “the monkey’s paw curls one finger.”
That Sunday Times article requires some correction and clarification. They say the Peterborough–Norwich bus is £12 for a day ticket, but the more relevant figure is £10 for a single. And that route is actually registered as four separate sections wearing a trenchcoat, which might be relevant, depending on how the scheme is implemented. This could be an example of Knoll’s law/Gell-Mann amnesia, but I already cancelled my subscription to the bigoted rag (which still does some good investigative journalism) years ago.
Found out about Central Tickets, where you can be a “seat filler” and get cheap tickets to events. Only events where supply exceeds demand, but that doesn’t necessarily mean only bad events.
So it was that I spent 24-ish hours in Lancashire and went to see Elbow at the Lytham Festival. (Lytham St Annes is Blackpool’s posh southerly neighbour.) Not deeply acquainted with their work, and apparently younger than their average fan, but it was nice enough to breathe some fresh sea air and have some fish and chips and stuff, and the show was good too. Towards the end of the evening, suddenly everything went all dewy.
Stayed in Preston, and felt smug comparing the long queue for the Lytham–Blackpool bus to much the shorter one for Preston. Preston Bus Station is gorgeous, by the way, deserving of its mythical status.
Caught the FlixBus 030 from Preston to London. I have some beef with the German intercity mobility brand, but the journey was fine, and I won’t bore you by moaning about their flawed seat reservation system and how I hadn’t paid the extra pound to reserve a seat and was slightly ungracious about moving for the lady whose reserved seat I’d unwittingly stolen.
Finished reading The Bug by Ellen Ullman. It’s very much the sort of thing you’d think I’d enjoy; yes, it’s about people, novelly things, just as much as it’s about software engineering, but I’m a person too, remember.