I came across this when searching for something quite different!
“… I waited for ages for a bus and then two turned up at once!”
Anyone who uses buses anything like frequently will have had this experience. (And those who choose not to use buses probably use this kind of occurence as one of the reasons.)
But how does it happen? – Is it due to evil bus companies or tardy drivers messing up the schedule? Or is it more complicated than that? Does anyone care?
Well now these questions can be answered (apart from the last one) by the
This astonishing piece of ground-breaking* software shows how and why buses travel in pairs. Yes! – all the fun of riding around on buses for days armed with a stopwatch and a clipboard has been crammed into a simple web utility. And they said it couldn’t happen!
Here are a few less-than-interesting facts that this program has revealed:
(1) Buses frequently cluster into pairs due to a variety of causes.
(2) If a bus leaves the depot only a couple of minutes late it is likely to cause pairing. (i.e. Their fault)
(3) Three buses arriving together is almost certainly a result of a cock-up at the bus depot. It usually requires two or more buses to leave the depot late. (i.e. Very definitely their fault)
(4) Small random fluctuations in departure time or traffic conditions can also cause pairing of buses (i.e. No one’s fault)
(5) If one set of buses pairs up, there is a greater tendency for the following two buses to pair up.
(6) The whole bus pairing phenomenon is not rocket science.