29/08/2011

Bus times on the go...

With the explosion in the number of people using smartphones in the last couple of years a number of bus times mobile apps have come to the market - some good, some bad... in this "Bus times on the go" post we look at three of the best mobile related mobile bus times services that are currently available!

Google Maps for Android, iphone, Symbian S60 & Blackberry
This is the new kid on the block, and in my opinion is probably the most exciting option available, as it has only just launched coverage is somewhat limited at the moment, London is currently the main focus, using TfL's official data a full London Bus & Tube planner is available.

Google Transit map

Google Maps allows you to plan your journey using its usual to and from points - just simply select the bus icon, if you are a Android user you can also track the progress of your journey using GPS and your phone will even alert you when you need to get off of the bus, Google are also working with TfL to gain access to their real time information so countdowns etc can be included in future versions. It is also planned for the service to be rolled out to the rest of the UK in the future.

You can also use this service on your desktop PC or laptop by visiting the usual Google Maps website.

Catch That Bus UK for Android
This is a fantastic app and one I use myself, it lists departure times from over 370,000 bus stops in England, Scotland & Wales and shows either scheduled departures or departures in countdown format in areas which have real time infomation.

Catch That Bus 1

Catch That Bus 2

An example map is shown above, you can find your nearest bus stop using GPS or you can search for any bus stop by postcode, name or navigating the map. You can also save your favourite bus stops for quick access and view Google Streetview images at your selected bus stop.

You can download Catch That Bus UK priced at £1.79 to your Android device by visiting the Android Market

NextBuses.mobi by Traveline
Next Buses is a mobile website and available on any internet enabled mobile device, it is simple to use and shows departure boards at your selected stop which you can search for either by stop name, street name and town or post code.

Results are shown on a map with clickable links to the departure board for your chosen stop.

Visit nextbuses.mobi on your phone to try it out.

Conclusion, mobile bus times apps can prove very useful whilst on the go, and I am a user of them myself, however in my opinion nothing beats the good old fashioned printed bus timetable!