Spot the difference

F or NF?The number 17’s one of the major bus routes in Reading, and actually the service isn’t usually too bad. The way the timetables are presented is pretty good as well: instead of posting the full timetable everywhere, each bus stop has an individual printout listing only the times buses arrive there.

Makes sense really; showing just the relevant information makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.

But there’s still room for improvement. I noticed this at a bus stop this evening. Two buses are listed at 2000 hours. One has NF by it, one F.

No, it’s not a reference to the National Front. The NF stands for “not Fridays”. The F means “Fridays only”. The difference between the two? There isn’t one. They leave at the same time and run to the same destination, with the same interim stops.

Extra lines, extra numbers – and there’s no reason for them. It just creates uncertainty and confusion. Sure, it’s a minor thing, but I bet it’s confused someone, at some point. And it would be easy to rectify. So why haven’t they?

It’s the same with websites. Is everything there for a reason? Because if it’s not, it’s just noise.

One response to “Spot the difference”

  1. Joff says:

    Having spent a while doing travel news for a Reading breakfast show, I’ve a fairly good understanding of transport issues in the immediate area.

    To explain the ‘F’ / ‘NF’ conundrum: you’ll probably find that the timetable varies later down the route on Fridays only, or that bus on a Friday might just terminate at St. Mary’s Butts, or something. Doesn’t explain why they need to include a separate entry on timetables where the time doesn’t vary ‘yet’.


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