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Thread: Courthouse Station down for over 24 hrs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Arlington
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    Default Courthouse Station down for over 24 hrs

    The CaBi station "Court House Metro / 15th St & N Uhle St" disappeared yesterday from the app map. Vanished. What's going on?

    Yesterday evening, I went over to investigate after noticing the disappearances on the app map. I saw it was full of bikes and the kiosk "worked" (as in, power was on) but the button to take out a bike was greyed-out. I assume this app-map disappearance is the new way they designate station is offline (for technical or any other reason). Today, checking again, I notice it's still down. Another station nearby, "15th St & N Scott St," is also marked inactive. The Courthouse Station has been down for over twenty-four hours.

    I assumed, when I noticed this problem yesterday (a Saturday) that the Courthouse station might have been temporarily taken offline to prevent people interfering with the farmer's market. But in fact it was offline all day, and now also today. When I notice these I sometimes report these on the app, but it's never clear if anyone is actually reading them. Occasionally I'll get a generic reply five days later from Lyft.

    On the website map, it's showing the station 'greyed-out' and marked Inactive.

    This is one of the heaviest used stations in Arlington, I think, and on any fair weather day always goes completely empty, gets restocked by a CaBi rebalancer truck once or twice, and still goes empty. It's between the parking lot and the AMC movie theater plaza area.

    To CaBi, if you're reading this: When stations go down for technical reasons, I believe the best way to do it is 'grey' them out and mark them inactive, as used to (sometimes) be done, not just make them "disappear." I am thinking of new or inexperienced users trying to get a bike, seeing the station/bikes in front of them, but being puzzled and its absence on the app map. I've seen too often people get frustrated in those cases, and from such experiences some might be disinclined to use CaBi.
    .
    Last edited by Yule; 04-11-2021 at 12:08 PM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Thanks for reporting this. I agree the station should just be gray'd out and not disappear. Will check into it. I know the website map used to have them gray'd out as do other apps that use the public feed.

    Henry

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Henry, thanks. The "graying out" I remember being effectively used for events like the Marine Corps marathon shutting down stations on the route for a period of 24 or 36 hours. I get the feeling it had to be done manually, but I'm just speculating based on my (end-user) experience. Ideally it would be automatic of course.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Follow-up: The Courthouse [Arlington] Capital Biksehare station, as best I can tell, was down for up to 48 hours in this outage. All Saturday and Sunday, April 10 & 11. Then it was back as normal by Monday and also reappeared on the app map and was back in service.

    From what I can guess, at normal good-weather weekend usage, this high-traffic station going down means well over a hundred trips were potentially lost, some of whom could have used nearby stations but many (inexperienced etc users) not, and in all cases it means lost time.

    Maybe related or maybe not: Starting about the same time and lasting up to yesterday, I noticed a few other stations have been "hiccuping," by which I mean rejecting an attempted check-out of a bike (red light). The kiosk in these cases sometimes displays unusual things, often something like "station temporarily unavailable." Not a good sign, but from past experience the solution is often to wait a minute or two and thing go back online. So far the "wait a minute" solution has worked each time.

    Back in 2019 or so (there are threads here on the matter), there was a period of a few weeks with extensive 'down' periods. Entire areas had multiple stations down for hours or days at a time, a kind of "rolling blackouts" phenomenon they couldn't figure out. Whatever 'hiccups' are in the system this time, it's much less serious. The Courthouse CaBi Station going down for so long is the only serious problem I've noticed in April 2021 in this way.

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