There are undoubted challenges to writing information that has to fit into a limited space.
Here’s one I noticed recently where perhaps they haven’t got the balance quite right.
Bus route 605 was recently changed at its City end, to run via the Botanic Gardens, Southbank and Queen Street to Flagstaff Station, instead of the old route via Flinders, Queen, Lonsdale and Exhibition Streets.
What’s with the southern end of the map, going off in two directions at once? From the timetable it appears that outbound it goes along Gardenvale Road, and terminates near Nepean Highway. But inbound it starts on North Road, some distance away – presumably the bus runs empty from the outbound terminus to the starting point. Perhaps they kick all the passengers off on Gardenvale Road? It would seem more logical to run this, and show it on the map, as a loop, as at the City end.
Anyway, this modified route resulted in some interesting abbreviations on the destination display.
Citybound it’s going to “F/STAFF STAT”.
Is this very meaningful to people? I’d have thought simply “Flagstaff” means more to Melburnians. True that can mean the station or the gardens, but they are adjacent to each other.
You could also abbreviate Station to Stn, though this can be problematic if rendered in low resolution capitals – STN can be misread as STH (South).
(The terminating stop is actually half a block from Flagstaff Station, but that’s probably quibbling — more people would know where the station is than the County Court, which is actually where the stop is.)
In both directions, the bus is going via “ROYAL BOT GDNS”.
Edit: Some buses have smaller displays, meaning it’s further abbreviated to “ROY BOT GDNS”.
Reminding people that it runs via the Botanic Gardens would have been important when transitioning to the new route. But I’m not sure this is very clear.
Perhaps it should have said via “Botanic Gardens”? Or choose another nearby landmark and simply say “Shrine”?
Not that this bus route specifically should be singled-out.
For decades, southbound 78 trams proclaimed they were going to “Prahran”, which they pass through about 2km before terminating down in Balaclava. They now say “Balaclava via Prahran”.
Squeezing information that is meaningful yet brief is an ongoing challenge for public transport destination boards, so I’m sure there are other destinations and abbreviations around the place that are a little vague.
What potentially confusing ones have you seen?