Today, the team behind TransLink’s mobile site  has a holiday present for site users — more updates, including GPS-enabled map search, route links available in the Next Bus bubble, and route text view!
I know I personally have been waiting with bated breath for GPS-enabled search on Next Bus, which I think will be especially handy when you’re somewhere where you don’t know the exact 5-digit number of nearby stops or what buses run in the area. Now when you access the site with your GPS-enabled smartphone, you no longer need to put in either a stop or route number to search on the map. All you need to do is go to the Next Bus “Where’s My Bus?” page, and then click on “Map View.” Assuming your phone and browser have location services activated, a pin showing your location will drop on the map, and all the nearby stops will pop into view (as pictured above). You can click on the bus stops as usual to see what buses ply that route, and when they are scheduled to stop there.
If you don’t have GPS activated, or you are using the desktop version of next bus, you can still leave the search box on the “Where’s My Bus?” page blank. The pin will drop in Surrey, and you can navigate around the map from there to find the appropriate stop.
Route links in the Next Bus bubble
Once you know what stop you want to use, you might want to know which buses stop there and where they go. You can now click on the bus numbers in the Next Bus “bubble” to see the route and real-time bus locations of buses on that route. For example, at the busy stop pictured here at right (#50095), you can now click on any of the six bus route numbers to see that route and the buses on it. Clicking on the #22 bus, for example, shows the route in orange (you can of course pan out to see a bigger view of the whole route), and the fact that I have just missed the bus!
Just a reminder that the orange line shows the “usual” pattern of that route, so on routes with multiple patterns, you may see several orange lines. A blog post  from a few weeks ago contains more details about why this is.
Route text view
Finally, you now have the option of text view for all the stops on your route. On the Next Bus “Where’s My Bus?” page, you type in your route number and then click “Text View.” You’ll see all the stops for that route listed in order. Clicking on any of the stop names will bring you to text view (and scheduled times) for that particular stop. And you can switch to map view from there to see the real-time location of all buses in relation to that stop. Pretty nifty!
As always, we like to hear your thoughts on the new features as we add them. Leave a comment or question and I’ll try my best to find the right answer for you!
Author: Tina Robinson