"So what time is the next bus then? What? Oh forget it."

I've been staring at this bus shelter time table for a couple of years now and I'm still dumbfounded by the sheer uselessness of its invention. One of the least exciting experiences of being chained to public transport, particularly bus services in Liverpool, is that much of the time you're not entirely sure when your transport will arrive. Often, on this route into town at least, often on a Sunday, you'll spend more time waiting at the stop than it takes to reach the destination.

The information here is simply anti-intuitive. It says that Mon-Fri Peak (whenever that is) the buses are every six minutes. Which buses? All of them? Or is this a tag team affair in which at least one of them will arrive every six minutes? This rumour and mythology approach to offering travel information becomes even more acute at evenings and on Sunday when you're told that they're every fifteen or thirty minutes which means you've little or no chance of planning to arrive at the bus stop just on time to hop on.

After a while, a label appeared on the perspex just below, which said if you'll excuse the paraphrasing: "Please note that as of [some date] the information in these timetables will not be updated due to the frequency with which services are changing. So the times and services above may not be accurate and subject to change." In other words, this time table is so irrelevant, it might as well not be here at all. Not long afterwards, said label was fidgeted away, presumably by someone you'd been waiting some time.

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