I spend a lot of time staring at these signs in Blackheath. They’re not perfect, but they’re better than wondering if your bus is even running… The strange thing is that, unlike the (incredibly useful) Train Departure Boards Live, there doesn’t seem to be any way of getting live bus info online.
Which is odd, because I saw a vandalised bus shelter the other day, and what looked like a broadband modem hanging out of it. I did a bit of googling, and it seems that the current system (shown above) is known as “Countdown“, and has been running since 1996, before GPS was widely used, and was never designed to handle the 8000 buses currently on the system.
So there is a replacement planned. It is called iBus. Of course it is. How could it be called anything else? It promises all manner of super-duper improvements, use of GPS, automatic audio announcements on the bus for each stop, SMS notifications, but nothing about live bus stop info online! I want to be able to search for the 108 towards Lewisham from outside Shepherd Foods, see that it is 8 minutes away, and hurry out of the house to greet it!
I’ve made some enquiries, asking about online info, and when the system will appear in Blackheath, but so far, no reply. I’ll keep you posted…
Alternatively, if any nice Blackheathens (?) have a window out onto Goffers Road, or Prince of Wales road, and feel like sticking a webcam out of it, we could post a link to it here! Justin.tv seems to be an extremely easy way to broadcast a live webcam with almost no effort.