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ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

Gadsden, Alabama
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ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

I see on ATAC's web site where you can view the routes of individual buses, as well as their *projected* departure times from each stop (varying anywhere from 5-20 minutes apart).

Does that mean that there will be a bus at EVERY stop on that one particular route? Surely not!!! Let's say that I want to catch #64 from the Termini to Vatican, but I miss the 10am departure. By the departure schedule there's going to be another bus just 5 minutes later at 10:05, then one at 10:10, 10:15, then 10:21, etc. Going by that logic, there will be a #64 at every one of the 17 stops along that route at those times (well, roughly at those times).

Now assuming that I'm wanting to go from the Vatican TO the Termini, there's got to be ANOTHER 17 busses running the opposite way at those same times too. That's a total of 34 buses running at once just to keep that one line, #64, running.

That just doesn't seem correct to me. Where am I going wrong?

Link:

http://www.atac.roma.it/index.asp?p=18&i=14

Oh yeah, what's the difference in the P and A on the route map? (Parking and... ???) That may help out a bit.

Thanks in advance.

G

Montreal
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1. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

Rome is a large city with over 3 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. They do things differently there than in Glencoe, Alabama. There are buses leaving Termini at all the times indicated.

P is partenza or departure; A is arrivo or arrival.

Gadsden, Alabama
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2. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

So Zerlina, I was correct to assume that the buses WILL be as readily available as it looked? Thanks.

Also, thanks for the Partenza and Arrivo.

I was in no way comparing Rome to Glencoe. I've travelled internationally DOZENS of times in my short 33 years (and I'm actually still quite fond of Alabama) but the last thing I need is to *think* that I understand a bus schedule to a new country, only later to be stranded or miss an appointment.

New to TA doesn't mean new to travelling, but again why take a chance and assume anything?

But again, thanks for the answer Zerlina. And thanks to TA for yet another question answered.

G

Edited: 16 February 2010, 18:22
Rome, Italy
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3. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

Wait a second. You should NOT trust the schedules. The buses leave *roughly* at those times, but don't be surprised if they just skip one of the departure times. The 64 and 40 are two that stick FAIRLY close to the schedule, but in general, the only ones you can count on are the first and last of the day.

Once they start, they do a loop to San Pietro and back. There ARE several on the road at once, but maybe not 17. ;)

Gadsden, Alabama
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4. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

Thanks Michael. One of the things I love about TA is that I can get advice from those who actually live in the country/city I'm visiting. I knew that sooner or later someone would add to this thread.

I supppose I should be more specific about what I'm trying to find out. I'm looking to take #64 from the intersection of V. Nazionale and V. 24 Maggio (I believe there's a Tabacci store next to the stop) to Vatican City for a 2pm tour. You also mentioned that buses often skip stops.

NOW, do you (or anyone) have any input as to how reliable THIS stop is as the above mentioned intersection.

You can probably see why I didn't want to ask THAT question, but now I want to make sure that this question is heading in the right direction.

G

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

Individual buses do not skip stops, but some scheduled services just don't run at all. So if buses are scheduled to leave at 5-minute intervals, sometimes you will have to wait 10 minutes.

What is more, traffic in Rome is usually very heavy and the buses can get delayed. A journey that is scheduled to take 15 minutes could take 30.

As in any major city, bus schedules should be regarded as a statement of intent. Allow plenty of extra time if you want to be certain of arriving somewhere by a particular time.

Gadsden, Alabama
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6. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

These responses are MUCH better than that first, hasty "This isn't Alabama" response. It took restraint (and even some editing) to not get into a bickering match.

It did not seem reasonable at all that EVERY stop was going to have a bus waiting at the time listed.

My question is though, how do you know which stops are going to be skipped? Running late is one thing, but a bus skipping a stop altogether could cause problems.

Edited: 16 February 2010, 23:57
Montreal
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7. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

In your dozens of international trips, you must not have visited any large cities with bus systems.

No one, least of all me, said that there were buses waiting at every stop at the times given. The times are for the bus's *departure* from Termini. Michael was correct to point out that a scheduled time is sometimes skipped; Nick was correct to point out that buses can and often are delayed.

You can also think about this: Buses may sometimes make a stop but be too full to allow more passengers to get on.

It's absurd to try to plan by the minute.

Edited: 17 February 2010, 00:17
Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

>>My question is though, how do you know which stops are going to be skipped? Running late is one thing, but a bus skipping a stop altogether could cause problems.<<

All the buses that run stop at all the stops. But some of the scheduled buses do not run at all, and therefore skip all stops.

rome
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9. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

Sorry, but as a Rome resident I have to correct what Nick is saying: Buses do skip stops at times. Of course they do drive by each stop that is on their route but they stop only a) someone in the bus has pushed the button to indicate he needs to get out at the next stop or b) there are people at the bus stop waiting AND making a hand sign that they want to get into that specific bus.

But then again, I agree with the overall suggestion that you can't plan neither the buses nor your schedule to the minute in a big city. You will just need to allow for waiting/extra times for everything where you want/need to be punctual.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: ATAC - Need help deciphering the run times

Wine Gal is of course right. But, unless the bus driver is feeling particularly bloody-minded, a bus will not skip a stop where someone is indicating they want to catch the bus. This seemed to be what the OP was worried about.

Edited: 17 February 2010, 08:52