A Day in the Life of Bus Number 68

On August 15, 2019, T3 Transit Bus 68 started its day just after 6:30 a.m. servicing Route № 3, the route that goes counter-clockwise around the city from downtown through Parkdale, Sherwood, Hillsborough Park, and West Royalty.

For the next 12 hours it drove a total of 245 km, servicing both Route № 3 and, on occasion, Route № 1.

Here’s what its day looked like, compressed down to 2 minutes:

Oliver and I caught the bus at 4:38 p.m. at the corner of Beach Grove and Maypoint Road; it was running about 8 minutes late. It made up a lot of that time, and dropped us downtown 10 minutes later, close to on-time, at 4:48 p.m.

Bus 68 finished up its day just before 7:00 p.m., with one final counter-clockwise run around the city. It then headed back to the garage for the night before starting back again, just after 6:30 a.m., the next morning.

How I Made This

I pulled real-time bus location information from the T3 Transit ReadyPass map. This gave me 2,258 time-stamped bus position points in a CSV file, like:

2019-08-15 06:37:43,68,3,46.234024047852,-63.12748336792,0.019,0,2019-08-15 09:37:42,58,244
2019-08-15 06:37:59,68,3,46.234027862549,-63.12748336792,0.019,0,2019-08-15 09:37:53,49,244
2019-08-15 06:38:14,68,3,46.234027862549,-63.12748336792,0.018,0,2019-08-15 09:38:10,42,244

I imported these points into QGIS and used the TimeManager plug-in, with interpolation set to “Linear interpolation for big datasets” and a time frame size of 15 seconds. I exported the resulting frames to PNG files and then combined the 2,926 frames into a single MP4 video with ffmpeg:

ffmpeg -i frame%5d.png  -movflags faststart -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf "scale=trunc(iw/2)*2:trunc(ih/2)*2" video.mp4

I can watch the resulting video over and over and over: it’s like a transit ballet. Or a transit video game.


Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on August 19, 2019 - 08:15 Permalink

Why does it go up University Av, stops for a while, and goes bakc down, after every 2 rounds? Shift changes? Gaps in the schedule?

Kevin's picture
Kevin on August 19, 2019 - 10:13 Permalink

Drivers of the main route work 12 hour shifts and they stagger their meals breaks and cover off for one another. Another bus would cover Route 3 while 68 was on Route 1. This could be done by drivers who do Stratford or Cornwall and are not on those routes when the bus 68 driver is on break. Thanks, Peter. Fun to watch.