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Regular Feature: Issue 310 4 May 2007

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Can indifference and high cost really lead to real-time information system failure?

New real-time information systems make flattering press releases and photo opportunities for councillors and ministers, but what happens after the cameras have gone? Rhodri Clark looks at the difficulties for local authorities left with high maintenance costs and complaints over unreliable information

By Rhodri Clark

Real-time information at bus stops was once an optional extra for local authorities and bus operators but as communications

technology develops rapidly, there are growing expectations that such information will be available at bus stops or via devices such as mobile phones.

Millions of pounds have been invested in real-time technology but in some areas customers mistrust the information because it is sometimes inaccurate. Installing equipment is relatively easy when capital grants are...

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