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Trip Planner FAQ

We are working on major upgrades to the transit trip planner. These will include better address matching, a Web 2.0 map interface with drag-and-drop options for selecting starting and endpoints, and more complete directions in the results. The first changes are scheduled to be introduced in mid-October, with all improvements in place by the end of the year.

Are the night buses included in the Trip Planner? I was searching for a connection late on a Friday, but couldn't find any routes using the night buses.

The night buses are included in the data. When searching for a time past midnight on a Friday, you need to change the date to Saturday. Unlike the printed timetables, the Trip Planner changes its date normally at midnight. Thus the latest night bus services can be found by setting the time and date to early morning of the next day.

What do the different colored lines on the map signify?

The Trip Planner uses lines to show travel routes and circles to show stops on the route. The colors signify the transit agency operating the route used on that part of the trip: DATA = dark blue, CAT = red, Triangle Transit = green, CHT = light blue, and walking = blue dotted line. Transfers between modes are shown as yellow circles, and the origin and destination are shown as yellow squares. The mode icons used in the list of route suggestions also use the same respective colors.

How do I know where I need to get off the bus, when traveling to a place I am not familiar with?

Under each listed route suggestion you can find links 'Show route on the map' and 'Show stop listing'. The listing of all stops along your route can be printed and used to follow the progress of your trip. You can also first use the map feature and adjust the view to show the most critical part of your route. You can then open the stop listing under the map window and print the whole view on one page to take along.

I wish to use public transport to go to Durham Station, but I do not know the street address. How do I find the route?

There are several ways to search for locations without knowing the address. The easiest way is to simply type in the name of the location in the destination field. Alternatively, you can just type in the first few characters. The Trip Planner will then return a list of all matching place names from which you can select your destination. Another method is to look in the place index, where all known locations are listed, in this case under Transportation Facility. If you can't find the correct place name but you know its location, You can use the map search and select your destination by pointing on the map.

I have saved a search for my trip from work to home as a browser bookmark. When I select it from the list, I get route suggestions for a time which has already passed!

A bookmarked search will save all attributes for the original search including the time. You can update the search to the current time by clicking the 'Now'-link above the list of route suggestions.

I have saved my home address in the own locations and tried to search for a route home. After typing in the address for origin I clicked my home address in the list for own locations. The home address then appeared in the text field for origin, and the address I typed in disappeared. What went wrong?

The location for your trip origin must first be confirmed by clicking the SEARCH button before selecting the destination. When the text for your trip origin appears in bold green type, You can move on and select the destination from saved locations or by using the index or map search features.

Trip Planner suggests only routes with a transfer from one bus to another bus, even though 20 minutes later there is a direct service available. Why is that route alternative not shown?

All connections suggested by the Trip Planner are strictly time-specific. Starting at the time you entered, the route with a transfer is the fastest way to get to your destination. If you search for a later time, the direct connection may be fastest. You can select the advanced search option 'least transfers' to find direct connections.

The default walking speed is too slow for me. Can I change the setting?

The advanced search options allow you to adjust several settings to your preference, including your walking speed.

Why is the distance from my home to the nearest stop calculated by the Trip Planner much too long?

The walking distances are calculated using a network of streets with associated walking data. The Trip Planner does not know all possible shortcuts and paths which are not built and maintained by the cities.

Why don't the routes shown on the map run along the streets?

At this time, the Trip Planner can only draw the stops along the route. The full shape of the route along the street it travels will be added later. Walking paths and distances are calculated using the street network, but at this time we can only show the walking connection with a direct dotted line.

Why doesn't the Trip Planner recognize the address or place I'm searching for?

The address database used by the Trip Planner is the best available data from the county planning offices. The index of places is collected from many different sources and updated manually, so it will never be perfect. Please give us feedback about places we should add.

Why doesn't the Trip Planner suggest the bus route I use every day?

The Trip Planner cannot predict your regular travel behavior. The suggested routes are calculated using the best available information about travel times and your search parameters. One benefit of the Trip Planner is the possibility to find new alternatives to your regular route. You can compare your regular route to the routes suggested by the Trip Planner to see if faster or easier options exist.