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12.04 Timetables


A timetable is a way of displaying a schedule to tell us when certain events take place. Timetables are found in schools to tell us when we have certain subjects and are commonly used for public transport to tell us when the transport is scheduled to arrive.

Timetables are ordered so the information can be read easily. Here is an example of a school timetable.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
$8:30$8:30$-$$9:30$9:30 am Maths History D.T. Assembly Maths
$9:30$9:30$-$$10:30$10:30 am English   D.T. English Maths
$10:30$10:30$-$$11:00$11:00 am Recess Recess Recess Recess Recess
$11:00$11:00 am$-$$12:00$12:00 pm French English Maths History English
$12:00$12:00$-$$1:00$1:00 pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
$1:00$1:00$-$$2:00$2:00 pm Art Maths English P.E. Geography
$2:00$2:00$-$$3:00$3:00 pm Art Geography French P.E.  

We can get all kinds of information about the times that classes, breaks and school events are on. For example, recess occurs every day from $10:30$10:30 to $11:00$11:00. Or on a Wednesday at $2:30$2:30 pm, we would be in French class.

A timetable can look complicated so it is important to understand how to read it.

This timetable is showing the times that the bus travelling from City Circular Quay to Parramatta station, will stop at the stations on the way. Each column of numbers represents a bus journey from start to finish. So the timetable is read from the top of each column moving down. We can see that the first bus is shown on this timetable to arrive at Circular Quay at $14:38$14:38, it then travels to Martin Place Station and arrives there at $14:44$14:44. It continues to each station listed and arrives at Parramatta Station at $16:04$16:04.

We often need to take into consideration how long it will take to get to a train or bus station when deciding which train or bus we need to take in order to arrive at a destination at a certain time.


Worked example

Consider the bus timetable shown above. We need to arrive at an appointment which is a $3$3 minute walk from Parramatta Station at $16:20$16:20. We will be catching the bus from the station on Victoria rd at Hornsey street. If it will take $12$12 minutes to walk from home to the bus station, what is the latest time we could to leave home in order to arrive at the appointment on time.

Think: Adding $3$3 mins onto the arrival times at Parramatta, which is closest to $16:20$16:20 without going past? This bus that arrives at $16:16$16:16.

Do: Follow this timetable back to the Victoria rd at Hornsey street stop. We can see that it stops there at $15:10$15:10. Taking $12$12 minutes off this time to account for the $12$12 minute walk to get there, and we see that the latest we could leave home would be $14:58$14:58.


Practice questions

Question 1

If Charlie catches a train at 1:23 pm from Circular Quay, what time will he arrive at Central?

Station pm pm pm pm pm pm pm
Museum $1$1:$11$11 $1$1:$15$15 $1$1:$17$17 $1$1:$21$21   $1$1:$26$26 $1$1:$30$30
St. James $1$1:$13$13   $1$1:$19$19 $1$1:$23$23 $1$1:$26$26   $1$1:$32$32
Circular Quay $1$1:$17$17 $1$1:$20$20 $1$1:$23$23 $1$1:$27$27     $1$1:$36$36
Wynyard $1$1:$19$19 $1$1:$22$22   $1$1:$29$29 $1$1:$31$31   $1$1:$38$38
Town Hall $1$1:$22$22 $1$1:$25$25   $1$1:$32$32     $1$1:$41$41
Central $1$1:$26$26 $1$1:$29$29 $1$1:$30$30 $1$1:$36$36 $1$1:$36$36 $1$1:$37$37 $1$1:$45$45
  1. $\editable{}$:$\editable{}$ pm

Question 2

Elizabeth is on holiday in Hong Kong. She wants to go by train from Kowloon Station to Disneyland Resort Station. She must change trains at Sunny Bay station.

Morning journeys from Kowloon to Disneyland:

Station Departure Time (am)
Kowloon $7:17$7:17 $7:29$7:29 $8:19$8:19 $8:31$8:31 $9:16$9:16 $9:28$9:28
Olympic $7:21$7:21 $7:33$7:33 $8:23$8:23 $8:35$8:35 $9:20$9:20 $9:32$9:32
Nam Cheong $7:23$7:23 $7:35$7:35 $8:25$8:25 $8:37$8:37 $9:22$9:22 $9:34$9:34
Lai King $7:27$7:27 $7:39$7:39 $8:29$8:29 $8:41$8:41 $9:26$9:26 $9:38$9:38
Tsing Yi $7:31$7:31 $7:43$7:43 $8:33$8:33 $8:45$8:45 $9:30$9:30 $9:42$9:42
Sunny Bay $7:38$7:38 $7:50$7:50 $8:40$8:40 $8:52$8:52 $9:37$9:37 $9:49$9:49



$7:45$7:45 $7:57$7:57 $8:47$8:47 $8:59$8:59 $9:44$9:44 $9:56$9:56

Evening journeys from Disneyland to Kowloon:

Station Departure Time (pm)
Disneyland $4:18$4:18 $4:30$4:30 $5:10$5:10 $5:22$5:22 $6:15$6:15 $6:27$6:27
Sunny Bay $4:25$4:25 $4:37$4:37 $5:17$5:17 $5:29$5:29 $6:22$6:22 $6:34$6:34
Tsing Yi $4:32$4:32 $4:44$4:44 $5:24$5:24 $5:36$5:36 $6:29$6:29 $6:41$6:41
Lai King $4:36$4:36 $4:48$4:48 $5:28$5:28 $5:40$5:40 $6:33$6:33 $6:45$6:45
Nam Cheong $4:40$4:40 $4:52$4:52 $5:32$5:32 $5:44$5:44 $6:37$6:37 $6:49$6:49
Olympic $4:42$4:42 $4:54$4:54 $5:34$5:34 $5:46$5:46 $6:39$6:39 $6:51$6:51



$4:46$4:46 $4:58$4:58 $5:38$5:38 $5:50$5:50 $6:43$6:43 $6:55$6:55
  1. How long will her train journey be?

  2. Elizabeth wants to spend at least $9$9 hours at Disneyland, but she must be back at Kowloon station by $6$6 pm. What is the latest train Elizabeth can take from Kowloon to Sunny Bay station in the morning?

    Departure time = $\editable{}:\editable{}$: am

  3. If she went from Kowloon to Disneyland Resort by taxi instead, the journey would only take $15$15 minutes. How much time would Elizabeth save by taking a taxi to Disneyland Resort instead?

Question 3

Kate travels to work by bus. She lives a $10$10 minute walk from the bus stop at Merry Oaks, and her workplace is a $5$5 minute walk from the stop at Highlands Drive. She has to be at work by $8$8 am.

Bus Stop Time (am)
Pine St $4:33$4:33 $5:36$5:36   $7:30$7:30 $8:32$8:32 $9:31$9:31
Westbrook Dr   $5:38$5:38   $7:39$7:39 $8:38$8:38  
Merry Oaks $4:40$4:40 $5:41$5:41 $6:36$6:36 $7:42$7:42 $8:47$8:47 $9:43$9:43
Carlton Rd $4:47$4:47 $5:42$5:42 $6:43$6:43   $8:50$8:50 $9:40$9:40
Highlands Dr $4:51$4:51 $5:48$5:48 $6:51$6:51 $7:48$7:48 $8:51$8:51 $9:48$9:48

West St

  $6:17$6:17 $7:12$7:12 $8:18$8:18 $9:13$9:13 $10:18$10:18
  1. What is the latest time Kate can leave home to get to work on time?

    Time = $\editable{}:\editable{}$: am

  2. If she misses her bus, how late will Kate be to work?


Other timetables

Timetables are also used to display other kinds of information. For example tide tables, sometimes called tide charts, are used for tidal prediction and show the daily times and levels of high and low tides, usually for a particular location. We also see timetables used to display times and dates for sunrise and moon phases.


Practice question

Question 4

Consider the tide chart below, and use it to answer the following questions.

Tue October 25 Wed October 26 Thu October 27 Fri October 28
$4:34$4:34 am Low $5:31$5:31 am Low $12:12$12:12 am High $1:11$1:11 am High
$10:47$10:47 am High $11:42$11:42 am High $6:25$6:25 am Low $7:26$7:26 am Low
$5:02$5:02 pm Low $6:05$6:05 pm Low $12:40$12:40 pm High $1:39$1:39 pm High
$11:20$11:20 pm High $-$   $6:53$6:53 pm Low $7:52$7:52 pm Low
  1. How long is there between the first high tide on Thursday and the next high tide?

    $\editable{}$ hours and $\editable{}$ minutes

  2. How long is there between the last low tide on Thursday and the next low tide?

    $\editable{}$ hours and $\editable{}$ minutes

  3. A boat can only enter the harbour within two hours before or after a high tide.

    If a fishing boat travels out of the harbour at $2:12$2:12 am on Thursday, when is the earliest it can return back to the harbour?

    $\editable{}$$\editable{}$$:$:$\editable{}$$\editable{}$ am

  4. What is the minimum length of time that the boat could be out fishing for?

    $\editable{}$ hours and $\editable{}$ minutes



interpret timetables, such as bus, train and ferry timetables


use several timetables and electronic technologies to plan the most time-efficient routes


interpret complex timetables, such as tide charts, sunrise charts and moon phases

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