The purpose of the "Unused Stops" database is to enable information service providers to remove such stops from a map or a list of stopping points that they offer to the public - this is particularly relevant for systems using Traveline's NextBuses information. This both improves the experience for the end-user and removes unnecessary and unfruitful enquiries being made to the NextBuses system.
If the user has already bookmarked a stop or enters a bus stop code, perhaps from information at the bus stop, then the request from the user should be processed in the normal way. ie the Unused Stops file should not be used to suppress such a request.
Traveline Information Ltd has commissioned Ito World to undertake a regular analysis of bus stop and bus schedule data to identify those stops which are shown as ACTive in the NaPTAN database but which are not currently being used by services found in Traveline's comprehensive timetable data.
NaPTAN is a database of stops which are available to be used - so a bus operator can identify where such approved stops already exist when planning new or revised services. NaPTAN data, therefore, does not immediately react to changes in services and timetables, and it is only by analysing both sets of data regularly that it is possible to identify which NaPTAN stopping points are actually used by services, and which currently are not in use.
Ito reviews both sets of data nationally overnight at least once a week (whenever a new set of timetable data is received from one or more traveline regions) and identifies from the schedule data which NaPTAN stoppoints are referred to in the timetables. It then lists those ACTive stops in the NaPTAN database which are not currently used in the timetable database - these are the "Unused stops".
Traveline's timetable database typically contains details of recent, current and future services. Therefore stops which have recently ceased to be used, or those which will be used by services planned for the future, or those which are used only occasionally, will not be included in the "unused stops" list, even though there may be no services using them "today" or perhaps for many days in the future.
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© Traveline 2012, Last updated: 27 February 2012