'I've lived here for 35 years and now when I am too old to use it, I get a bus service', lamented Mother. She is quite bemused by the empty bus rolling past the front of her house in both directions.
It is a brand new route, 925. When I am on the phone speaking to her and the bus passes by, she always comments that she can never see anyone on it. I explain that new bus routes aren't always immediately successful and take time to register in people's consciousness. And just because there is no one on the bus as it passes her house, it doesn't mean another part of route couldn't be quite busy.
Now you would think it would be a simple thing for me to take a look at the new route, where it goes and what it services. Not simple at all. I took me half an hour to work it out.
Of course I started with Metlink. I narrowed it down to a couple of route numbers and checked them on Metlink's stylised map, but although Mother's street was shown, none of the bus routes travelled along it.
Eventually working backwards from a press release I decided it was route 925. Does the Metlink map show it running along Mother's street? No. After much puzzlement and confusion, I looked at the detailed stop list and there it is running along Mother's street. It is a totally new route, so the problem can't be an out of date map. The map is just wrong.