Now and Next for buses is online!

Bus stop in Blackheath, illuminated by the sun
This is really cool. You can now find out where the bus you’re waiting for has got to. The “Now & Next” displays for buses are now available online. So even if your bus stop doesn’t have a display, you can use your phone to find out where your errant 202 has got to.

TfL’s Countdown page: http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk/

It’s only in testing at the moment, but I used it today, and it makes such a difference. Lying on the heath in the sun, check your phone to see when the bus is due, then saunter over to the bus stop two minutes beforehand, and sure enough the bus appears by magic!

You can bookmark your favourite stops – each one has a unique URL, so for example the bus stop next to Shepherds Foods is:
http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk/#|searchTerm=57823
Or the accesible text only version would be:
http://accessible.countdown.tfl.gov.uk/arrivals/57823
There’s also a version formatted for mobiles (thanks for the tip Methers)
http://m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk/arrivals/57823
So you can save separate bookmarks on your phone for your frequently used bus stops.

This is such a great system, and it’s been a long time coming. It opens up so many more possibilites for fun things to do with data & travel. Which are the best/worst performing routes? Which timetables need tweaking for accuracy? iPhone apps that beep when it’s time to run for your bus, and enhanced apps (like the brilliant London Travel Deluxe that no commuter should be without) that can now show real time updates.

Hooray for TfL, and I don’t say that very often…

(Spotted on the excellent Diamond Geezer blog).

Stunning photo of Blackheath Bus Stop in the sun by twitter user Neil Clasper

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15 Comments

Filed under blackheath, geek, transport

15 responses to “Now and Next for buses is online!

  1. methers

    I’ve been waiting for this to appear for sometime. It should prove to be very handy. There’s a mobile version at m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk which is formatted better for smartphones.

    I’m not sure any iPhone apps are using the live data yet. It’s still a beta service and so can’t be guaranteed to be working properly all the time.

  2. Ed

    Great , thanks for the heads up

  3. scared of chives

    Who took the photo? it’s lovely

  4. Maisie

    I got so excited when I read this. How sad am I?!?

    It is something we have needed for such a long time. An app would be perfect….

  5. Belinda

    Hi I’ve been using a similar AP on my iPod for a few months now and I agree its fantastic. I literally live about 3 minutes from a bus stop on Shooters Hill so I can wait comfortably in the house for the bus before strolling off comfortably to meet it when its due. No more standing in the rain, inhaling passive cigarette smoke and worrying about being late :)

  6. Jim

    By the way , Apps are not the future . The latest is for smart phone optimised websites . These have many cost and technical benefits to the standard Apps design . Many large companies are moving over to this way , look at ft.com . They may call them apps but that is just for marketing .

    • Apps nor websites are the future – they’re both useful in different contexts and have different strengths and weaknesses, although I’m not sure a blog about Blackheath is the best place to discuss the relative merits of Objective C over Javascript.

  7. Char

    I was very excited by this. No longer quite so as yesterday I had to get buses from three different stops in the local area all of which had ‘no bus information available at this time’. The winding route of the 386 seems to be particularly out of favour. But it is a beta version so I live in hope.

  8. Anonymous

    Same response for two days with web version on my desktop:

    Sorry no bus information is available for this stop. Please consult the bus timetable or visit tfl.gov.uk

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