The point of implementing this system to is reduce staffing...no need for “as many” dispatchers, coordinators, etc. to manage the traffic.
Btw, it takes about six months to two years before any systems like this show both fruit and significant savings.
So, as others have asked, why this approach and NOT just a GPS-based knockoff of Uber’s app? That would allow for geofencing at the previous stop to send users alerts “the bus you’re looking for just left the stop immediately before yours.” Which is really all most of us would need.
Also, why is WDW still using buses?
It'd be great if one could log on the app before leaving the room or park and say where you'd like to go so there's some data *before* the bus stop itself.
Also, why is WDW still using buses?
Yes, showing 300 buses crawling around on a map of the entire property would be too much to show all at once. This is why they’d never do that. Have you ever used the apps for Uber/Lyft (or ZipCar, or even Lime/Bolt/Bird scooters)? They track every car/scooter, but they refine the view as you zoom in on the map to only show what you’re looking for—in-service cars/scooters nearby.There are ~400 buses (or more) in the fleet. Even if all of them aren't being used at the same time, what would even 100 buses look like moving around on a map? I imagine it to be incomprehensible. Therefore, I don't think there's any utility in something like that. Same thing with geofencing.
If you’ve ever stood in the hot sun or pouring rain waiting for a bus that wasn’t coming, you can see the value of knowing where on property the buses are.
Geofencing would send alerts to the phones of whoever requests to be notified of the arrival/departure of a particular bus. Clever Devices ITS already includes these features, Disney just hasn’t implemented them.
A Disney guest should not have to ride hundreds of buses or interview 40-50 bus drivers (as you say you did as part of your “research”) to understand how to get from a resort to a park and back with minimal stress or delay.
BTW, Disney has been using Clever Devices to manage their bus system since at least as far back as 2009, according to this post from right here on wdwmagic:
I guess I don’t understand what you are interested in then. Disney has had the ability to determine where a bus is, how many people are in it, and the rate at which it is traveling for a long time now. Scheduling, on the other hand (how long a bus should wait at each stop), needs data in order to be effective.My argument has to do with using a map to solve this problem. The system needs to be accurate enough to indicate by time the next bus departure to Hollywood Studios or Polynesian Village Resort, for example. You don’t need to zoom in and out on a map to determine that.
How would a guest choose this particular bus notification? I just think this is unnecessary if the app just tells you the accurate time of departure and arrival at a certain location.
Also, I’m making a distinction between capability and practicality here. We are talking about an app (MDE) that most people can’t even use for FastPass+ correctly (another topic). I don’t think most people would use the app to set up all their bus arrival and departure time notifications for their entire trip.
Of course not. It’s a weird project even for me as a local who has been going to the park since 1975. But, in my opinion, you always learn something new at WDW by doing something new, as extreme as it may be.
Correct. This information was already on this forum so I didn’t discuss it in the original post.
In any case, whatever app features Disney decides to give to guests, it won’t matter if the system can’t accurately determine arrival and departure times. That’s where my interest now resides mostly.
Scheduling, on the other hand (how long a bus should wait at each stop), needs data in order to be effective.
The fact that the system was designed for a city really has no bearing on its deployment at WDW. The problem is the same, but the variables differ. In a city, stops might be consistently short, while the transit time (between stops) can vary widely due to traffic conditions. At WDW, the transit time will likely stay consistent while load/unload times might vary due to ECVs/passenger needs. Flexibility is built into the system-that’s what makes it different than just an old-fashioned route schedule.What data do they need? They have transit time data. They need to calibrate the system correctly. They hadn't at Disney Springs, then Animal Kingdom. Then, they rolled it out at EPCOT. I don't know. Maybe they were planning on reviewing system performance before Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom started using it, as neither had dates when I asked the drivers/load zone coordinators back in March.
It's possible I'm missing something important (and so are all the drivers I talked to,) but I observed consistent system over-calculation of total transit times. That was one of the main points of my discussions with the drivers during the time we spent burning the clock down at load zones. One driver told me, "I would have to drive 10 mph in order to stay in sync with the clock." Unless there was a bus waiting to get into the load zone (for single load zone resorts, mostly) the drivers ran out the clock. That's one bus loaded with people just sitting there for 7+ minutes.
It seems to me that the transit time between, say, the Polynesian Village Resort and Animal Kingdom Park is affected by traffic congestion/accidents, traffic lights, and load zone delays (ECVs, stroller collapsing, etc.) Now, if the bus always left when it was ready to go, then there wouldn't be an issue here. This is not what I observed, however.
It might help if Disney wasn't implementing the system in such a brute force manner. Or, so it seems. When I asked one driver why Disney thought a bus management system made for a city would work at WDW out-of-the-box, he said they (corporate) were mostly deadline-oriented. If the square peg didn't fit into the round hole then, well, make it fit.
The fact that the system was designed for a city really has no bearing on its deployment at WDW. The problem is the same, but the variables differ.
But when properly implemented, realtime GPS + guest tracking gets rid of the “window” idea and treats the problem of moving guests as a logistical one.
People in cities around the world take public bus systems to work and school every day, and many of them have to make transfers to other modes of transport in order to arrive at their destinations on time. Many of these people are special needs, elderly, and children. Maybe more ECVs at WDW, but other than that, I'm not seeing the major difference.The variables at WDW parks differ from a city's drastically enough to require the initial configuration and continual modification of the new system. The variables of getting families and groups of individuals ("who") from the resorts to the parks ("where") in the morning and vice versa in the evening ("when") so they don't miss the time they paid for to be at the park ("why") are variables that I'd argue fundamentally change the problem (getting people from one place to another) considerably enough to require major adjustment of a new bus management system made for a city.
I think it's important to make a distinction between what you think the new bus management system should be able to do, what it can do, and what it was actually doing when I observed it back from Feb-Mar of this year. I tend to stick to what I observed the system actually doing or not doing based on what I observed it attempting to do. It seems like you are talking about how things can work.
For example, I did not observe the system attempting to track guest locations. You are saying this is necessary for proper implementation. You lost me there because that's not something I think the system is attempting to do.
I'm not sure the UI display is indicative of what the system is/isn't doing. It seems like it would only be indicative of what they are allowing to be displayed on the interface.There are some things the system can do that I did not assess. I didn't assess the system in all of its capabilities because Disney is clearly not using certain functionality. If you look at the TCH UI picture I posted, some of those indicators are not active because the associated feature is not being used. The odometer, security camera, and wifi indicators are turned off. Therefore, there is no reason for me to assess these features.
However, the system was attempting to calculate arrival times. Regions with the new system (other than FTW) did this poorly; regions using the old system did this better. There was a noticeable difference.
I observed nothing indicating that Disney waits until a bus is full of people to deploy another bus.
the cameras there were used to monitor how many people were waiting for a bus so they could send another bus if needed.
People in cities around the world take public bus systems to work and school every day, and many of them have to make transfers to other modes of transport in order to arrive at their destinations on time. Many of these people are special needs, elderly, and children. Maybe more ECVs at WDW, but other than that, I'm not seeing the major difference.
But I don’t understand why you’d approach learning about it through observation and interviews and not include a look at the specs of the product being used. It’d be like trying to understand how MDE works by interviewing CMs at the front gate.
I’m not sure the UI display is indicative of what the system is/isn’t doing. It seems like it would only be indicative of what they are allowing to be displayed on the interface.
Hmm. After several posts about it, I'm not sure you can. Obviously there are differences. I just don't think those differences are significant enough to say, "This system requires a significant amount of adjustment because it was designed for a city and not for WDW." As @UNCgolf mentions, the point-to-point service works more like a shuttle than a typical bus route. But it's still logistics of moving people from place to place. And the technology is there to do this more efficiently than Disney has in the past.It's necessary for the sake of discussion for you to see the difference. The good news is that I can help you see the difference.
If you mean controls in the system that supersede other controls in the system, then yes, I do. Do you mean something else?Do you know what an upstream coordinator is?
Also, your MDE/CM analogy doesn't hold any water. I collected arrival, departure, and delay time data over about six weeks riding buses all day long. I also monitored the TCH screen on buses and observed the continued overcalculation of bus stop wait times, as shown in the picture I posted. I compared the arrival times posted at bus stops with actual bus arrival times. I compared data from one region to another. The bus staff discussions were necessary to find any consensus about the system if one existed - not to take the place of my observations and data collection.
How is that like me only asking a CM how MDE works?
So, the wifi indicator is not active on the TCH home screen but there’s wifi available on WDW buses?
I think a fundamental difference between the Disney bus system and public transit buses in a city is that Disney buses take one route from starting point to destination without any additional stops on the way (barring resorts that have multiple stops, but that's still different). City buses are on a continuous loop with people getting on and off at each stop, because the bus is simply a way to get them closer to their ultimate destination. They don't exist to transport people to one specific location.
Disney buses function more like a shuttle service than public transit, which also affects rider load and so on -- Disney knows that when a bus reaches the Magic Kingdom, everyone on the bus is going to disembark.
I have no idea if/how that affects dispatch etc. though.
Hmm. After several posts about it, I'm not sure you can. Obviously there are differences. I just don't think those differences are significant enough to say, "This system requires a significant amount of adjustment because it was designed for a city and not for WDW."
...unless you have access to the backend, you're probably not going to get a good idea of what Disney is doing with the system. Even then, if you don't have insight from an insider on why they're using the system the way they are, you still won't get too far. There are too many variables.
If you mean controls in the system that supersede other controls in the system, then yes, I do. Do you mean something else?
Obviously I offended you with my comments. That wasn't my intent. I'm sorry.
I'm not sure the UI display is indicative of what the system is/isn't doing. It seems like it would only be indicative of what they are allowing to be displayed on the interface.
Did you push the touchscreen control to see what the wifi button does?
why not set up a sensor at the bust stops that show demand on the busses
First, you described that WDW bus transport was like a city's bus transport except for more ECVs. You didn't see much of a difference otherwise. Now, you claim to recognize the differences ("obviously") and but that doesn't mean significant adjustment is necessary. Which is it?
It doesn't require being a system engineer to consistently observe inaccurate arrival times and overcalculated bus stop wait times on a system home screen.
"There are too many variables" for what, exactly?
A WDW bus transportation upstream coordinator is a person. Do you know what this person does for WDW bus management and how that differs from city bus management?
So, I asked you if you thought the wifi worked but the indicator didn't indicate this. That's what the wifi indicator is for - to indicate that wifi is connected.
You don't push those indicators on the TCH home screen. They indicate connectivity.
Sorry I came across as pretentious, I generally try not to be a jerk. I’m glad you’re not offended.In short, I think you are over-simplifying the bus transportation needs of WDW resort. Although comments like "you still won't get too far" and "there are too many variables" read pretentious, I'm not offended by them. However, your changing of the argument is a bit of a red herring since it's an effort to avoid your original argument of WDW bus transport being like a city's.
Most importantly, I would love to hear how you would have investigated the new Clever Devices ITS at WDW other than the ways I did, as you mentioned you wouldn't have done it the way that I did.