One of the great things about travelling is the opportunity to see how other cities and countries do things. I’m always curious about how transportation is different in different cities and how information is shown. In this, I find Japan fascinating in how information about public transportation is shown. This is an example that I spotted in Kyoto.
I really like this. It shows not just where you are, but also the other bus stops nearby – around the nearest junction. In addition, for each of the stops, it shows the buses that call at the stop (the bus number at the right end) and the main destinations that the bus goes to. That way, you can decide which stop and bus will help you.
What I like most about this is that it’s a purely analogue solution – nothing digital about it. WHat I dislike, naturally, is that it’s Japanese only (this is a place where a digital display or app could do more). However, I think this also becomes a bit more possible to do because of the Japanese language – due to the use of Kanji (pictographs), the information density is much higher than an alphabetical script, allowing destinations and bus line information to be shown compactly where languages like English might not fit.
The other thing that you see a lot at train stations and bus stops is a sign like this.
For a single bus line, it shows the schedule for the bus – the arrival times at this bus stop. The hours along the slim columns and the minutes of that hour when the bus calls at this stop on each of Weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays/ Holidays. So, for example, on weekdays, the bus would arrive here in the 9pm hour at 21:06, 21:26 and 21:46 (actually, it would be the same time even on the other days in this case but there are differences in the 7am and 8am hours, for example).
If you have any comments about public transport information displays of this kind in Japan or other countries, please feel free to add comments below.