Accuracy of information

Image result for bus  time tableMore and more transit companies install electronic displays in order to inform the passengers  about the time of bus or tram or subway passage. This is great idea  and helps a lot the commuters, especially the ones that are rushing to catch the bus or the train.

The mental process takes place in a split second. People decide quickly. A train arriving in 2 minutes? I go faster.  A train in the station ? Decide if running is an option. Bus in 5 minutes ? I have plenty of time to drink a hot coffee at the shop around the corner.

While this information seems extremely useful, its usefulness is valid only  in a given context. If the display is placed 100m from the platform, the 2 minutes might not be enough for a walk, even at a  brisk pace. If the information is provided by the mobile app and I am home, even the 5 minutes might not suffice. In fact, most of the time, if the bus station is just 100m from  home and there are traffic lights in between, 5 minutes is not enough.

The information displayed should take into account the relative position of the electronic billboard. Otherwise, people might have enough time to see the train leaving the station.

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