Two transport applications – GM Bus Times and NextBus

Ric Roberts from Swirrl has saved me some typing (thanks, Ric!) by writing about two Greater Manchester transport related applications that have come out the Lovely Data hack days.

You should read Ric’s article for more details on the data and API that the applications use, but here’s a quick summary of them.

GM Bus Times

Developed by Ben Gibbs, GM Bus Times is a site that lets you quickly select a Greater Manchester bus route, shows the stops for that bus route on a map, and provides the times for when the next bus is due at a particular bus stop.

Chart showing screen shots from GM Bus Times

One thing in particular I like about the GM Bus Times site is that I can bookmark a web page that will give me the bus times for a specific bus service at a specific bus stop. Very useful for people like me who tend to get the same bus to work from the same stop.

Though the GM Bus Times site was developed quickly as part of the Lovely Data hack days, it does show how bus timetable information can be accessed in a more immediate way by building applications and sites that use open data that’s in machine-readable (and therefore “programmable”) formats, rather than static documents on a website.

I would love it if the GM Bus Times site could be optimised for mobile phones. 🙂


Developed by David Bamber, NextBus (open the link on a smartphone for best results!) is a mobile web app quickly developed to demonstrate how using location services on smartphones – Android phones, iPhone and the like – can help find bus stops near where you are right now and then tell you what buses are due.

Chart showing screen grabs from NextBus

Like GM Bus Times, NextBus shows an alternative way of accessing bus time information. By using open data and the capabilities of modern phones, you can quickly find out when your bus is due when you’re out and about.

Do you have any feedback on these apps or the ideas shown in them? Please leave a comment below or contact the developers directly.


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