I'm waiting for my bus which was scheduled to pick up an hour ago at 1am. I have been tracking it since 10pm, and its ETA hasn't changed and it shows that the bus is stopped in Salem, hours from where I am, and this has been the status so far. The time of its arrival in Salem changed from 10pm to 11:15pm. According to the tracker, its just sitting in Salem.

I don't want to leave in case it shows up, but I also don't want to remain at the bus stop for hours. There is one bus every 24 hours on this route. The call center doesn't open until 10am. The 48 hour rule dictates that I'll need to purchase another ticket if I don't board this bus, regardless of the reason. Several people are waiting here for the north-bound bus in the hope its driver will have answers.

Any help?

  • 17
    Possibly because the bus broke down in Salem, they got another bus, but didn't move the tracker to the new bus. Are all the people standing around also people using the app, who came late because they saw the bus wasn't near? The bus may have come and gone on schedule. The app is a cutesey toy, the schedule is what matters. Mar 22 at 17:56
  • 42
    Please, don't forget to update this question. Did you get on a bus? Mar 23 at 7:07
  • 11
    Not that it necessarily matters, but google.com/… points out there are 9 towns or cities in the United States named Salem; you might want to clarify which one
    – Foon
    Mar 23 at 14:32
  • 17
    Why is this a Hot Network Question? Seems abandoned! Mar 23 at 16:13
  • 26
    We need to know, did you get on that bus? What happened in the end? :)
    – finitud
    Mar 23 at 20:41


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Normally, you do not blindly believe a sat navigation sending you to that pond ahead at the end of the road. Similarly, tracking systems of public transportation have mostly supplemental value. From people who understand them more in depth I know that many scenarios of incorrect indication can happen:

  • the vehicle broke and but it remains assigned (logged in) to the route by driver's mistake
  • a spare vehicle is doing the route, but it is not equipped by tracking system so you do not see it coming
  • the driver mistakenly signs their vehicle onto improper route
  • the dispatcher mistakenly assigns incorrect vehicle for given route
  • some other cases (related to various technical details)

This way, you can sometimes see hilarious things how a streetcar (a tram) is approaching your stop using a street without tracks - because a backup bus has been sent as a replacement and the data are de-facto correct. So take these trackers with a grain of salt.

Of course, in situations of true mistakes, the vehicle is improperly indicated also at the central dispatching, but this is not a big issue: If this comes into their attention, it can usually be fixed by checking with the driver directly, and rectifying the setup.

In whatever public transportation systems this happens and you need to reach out, you typically prefer contact numbers for central dispatching if listed publicly (some providers in my country provide them). If not, you pick something closely related, like a general customer line and they can contact the back office to obtain the proper information for you.

  • 3
    Loving the The Office (US) reference to open!
    – Sam OT
    Mar 24 at 10:40

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