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Translink Buzzer Blog

iPhone app roundup for Vancouver transit

I’m not sure everyone is aware of all the iPhone apps that can be used to navigate or find out more about Vancouver transit. So I thought I’d put a quick list together, in case they might be handy during the Games period. Here we go!

(Non-iPhone users: we do have many other non-iPhone-centric web and mobile resources where you can get real-time transit info!)

TransLink App

Click for large image

Developed by: Handi Mobility for TransLink
Read Buzzer blog post on the TransLink app

  • See next buses at your stop
  • View stops on map
  • GPS aware: can find nearby stops based on location
  • Bookmark favourite stops
  • SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express schedules
  • Buzzer blog feed
  • Breaking service alerts shown at top

Cost: Free
Download the TransLink app


Click for large image

Update Jan 6, 2011: This app is now discontinued — if you would like to take the project over though, please see this post!

Update Jan 26, 2011: The app is now open source—find out more about grabbing the code here!

Developed by: Zhenweng Yao
Read Buzzer blog post about iBusVan

  • Show upcoming buses at any given stop
  • Show whole-day schedule for a given bus at a given stop on a given day.
  • Search for stops and routes, with id (e.g., #33223) or name keyword.
  • Search for stops and buses near your current location.
  • Easy bookmark on favorite stops and bus routes
  • Show stops and routes on the map.
  • Bus stops/routes/schedules can be viewed offline (after caching the schedule).
  • Notify users for new schedule/stops/routes updates.

Cost: $0.99
Download iBusVan

Route 411

Click for large image

Developed by: fusedlogic
Read Buzzer blog post about Route 411

  • GPS aware
  • Displays all stops in a radius on the map (allows you to scroll around the city)
  • Easily get arrival times for all routes through a given stop
  • User friendly interface
  • “Favorites” feature to give you quick access to frequently used bus stops or routes

Cost: $1.99
Download Route 411

Buzzer blog app

Click for large image

Developed by: Mark Larocque
Read Buzzer blog post about the Buzzer blog app

Retrieves the feed off Translink’s Buzzer blog. It also features the many Twitter updates that TransLink sends out daily. Features include:

  • Retrieve and refresh real time updates
  • Full picture retrieval from Buzzer blog
  • Share article by email or by twitter
  • Direct link to open in Safari view

Cost: Free
Download the Buzzer blog app


Click for large image

Developed by: Jehiah Czebotar

Train schedules for many agencies in the U.S. and Canada. For Vancouver, this app features only the West Coast Express schedule.

  • Offline Train Schedules viewable up to 14 days in advance
  • View The Departure Schedules by Station or browse the Departure Schedules for a specific Trip between two stations.
  • Purchase includes free schedule updates, as necessary.
  • Easy access to the schedules for trips you frequent most.
  • Interactive agency maps make finding a stop easy.

Cost: $4.99
Download theNextTrain

By the way, if you have used any of these, please feel free to share your favourites!


  • By Andrew, February 13, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

    You forgot Google Maps which does transit routes and is GPS aware

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 14, 2010 @ 10:21 am

    Ooh, I guess you’re right. It comes pre-installed on your iPhone so I didn’t think of it!

  • By ???, June 26, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

    A little warning on v4….



  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 28, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

    ???: I couldn’t get the video to play. What’s the gist?

  • By ???, June 28, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

    The video is gone for one reason or another. Found another copy here….

    For those that didn’t hear, the iPhone 4 has reception problems when you hold it up to in your hand to make a call. To cram the biggest battery possible, the antenna is now external. If you touch the metal part, your signal strength drops.

    Some others have come up with other creative ways to handle the situation.

  • By spencer kong, January 15, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    How do I get the route map?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 17, 2011 @ 10:11 am

    Spencer: I’m not sure if you’re asking for maps via mobile apps or just maps in general — can you clarify? In the interim, you can find route maps on the TransLink website here:

  • By Laura, January 27, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

    Does Translink have any plans to join the NextBus app? The bus I take comes every 10 minutes, but is frequently off by 5-20 minutes so knowing the schedule is pretty much useless. NextBus will actually read the GPS location of the next bus coming.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 31, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    Laura: Real-time info is a project we’ve been working on for a while now! I passed your question on to the project team and here’s the response:

    As part of the Bus Radio System project, each bus was to be equipped with a GPS. Instead of deploying yet another GPS on each bus, at an additional cost, we felt it would serve our needs better to try and make use of the data from this project to use it for customer facing real-time bus locations. Currently, due to the complexity of our system, CMBC is undergoing business process improvements to ensure that the real-time information is as accurate as possible (e.g. a bus that is short turned during rush hour will not show up as an increasing next bus arrival time). One this process is complete, we will then be in a position to provide this information to customers in the form of real-time next bus arrival. It is currently envisioned that this information will be available to the public late in 2011.

    We don’t currently have plans to use the NextBus service to distribute the real-time information from our buses once it is up and running.

  • By Laura, February 16, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    Great to hear!
    If not using NextBus, in what form will the public be able to make use of this information?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, February 16, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    Laura: Well, I think first and foremost would be to get our existing arrivals data delivery systems the new real-time data: that would include, the iPhone app, the TransLink website next bus lookup, and the 33333 text messaging service. Then I also would imagine that we would release the data to developers to use for open data software of their own devising.

  • By Ruben, March 2, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    I hope the NextBus app, recently announced in the media, will be open enough to allow development of apps that will alert you when your bus is at a certain point. So, I could set my app to ring when the bus is six stops away, and then I walk out the door.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 4, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

    Ruben: Good suggestion! Just wondering: what’s the NextBus app you’re referring to? We do have a mobile site at, a TransLink iPhone app, and a Next Bus SMS service, but nothing specifically called a “NextBus app”.

  • By ???, March 4, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 8, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    ???, Ruben: Aha — if the Next Bus external app is what you’re referring to, take a look at my responses to Laura just above these comments.

  • By Michael, March 1, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    The TransLink app isn’t on the iTunes site anymore. Is there a problem with it?

  • By Jose Carvalho, May 22, 2012 @ 6:05 am

    Hello Jhenifer,

    Have you heard about allSchedules ( It supports Translink and also other operators nearby like BC Transit.

  • By Donna, June 17, 2014 @ 10:36 am

    What happened to thee original translink app? I have it on my iPod touch but can’t put it on my iPad mini? It was way better than the paid transit app, and it was free!

  • By making an app for android, July 23, 2016 @ 7:11 pm

    It’s an remarkable piece of writing for all the web visitors; they will get advantage from it I am sure.

  • By Hire Android Developers, September 15, 2020 @ 3:01 am

    This is not about transit, it all about people awareness of Vancouver transit.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Happy Earth Day 2010! — April 22, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » TransLink iPhone app alert: your bookmarks may be affected — September 28, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  3. The Buzzer blog » TransLink API Developer Camp – July 18, 2012 — July 12, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

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