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The new Next Bus is now officially launched!

The new Next Bus is now officially launched!

I’ve been bloggging about it for since May last year, and now the new Next Bus real-time service is officially out of beta! As part of m.translink.ca, not only can Next Bus show where buses are in real time on a map, it can provide predictive departure times! If you’re a regular Buzzer blog reader, you’ll already be familiar with the new Next Bus. If not, there’s plenty of info on the new mobile website on this blog. a couple of new updates have been incorporated to the last beta release of Next Bus and the mobile site in general.

What’s new for Next Bus

Text view now shows the destination of the bus you want to catch instead of the geographic direction.

The mobile team has made an important update to help you chose the correct direction of the bus you want to know more information about. Previously, when you searched by bus route number (as opposed to bus stop #) in text view, you were were asked to pick the direction of the route you wished to catch. The direction of the route proved to be not so obvious for routes like the #22, which runs multiple directions. Now, instead of asking you for geographic direction of the route, Next Bus indicates the destination of each bus (see screen shot of the #22 route in text view).

Social media icons added to m.translink.ca home page

New additions to the m.translink.ca home screen

Besides the link to the Buzzer blog on the home page, links to TransLink’s other online accounts like YouTube, Facebook and Foursquare have been added.

Another great addition is a”Help” link located at the bottom left of the home screen. Here, you’ll find answers to questions about Next Bus, Trip Planner, Favourites and an “About” section.

What now?

The mobile team has received a lot of feedback on the site while it was in beta (much of that feedback coming from Buzzer blog readers). That feedback has helped contribute to this official launch. Now that Next Bus and the mobile website are officially out of beta, that doesn’t mean the development of the website is over. While there won’t be any major new developments with the website in the near future, we’ll be continuing to tweak the service and fix any problems users may see with it.

The mobile team still plans to release the mobile site’s API for developers to use this year. The mobile site was designed to help users access and get more out of the services TransLink provides. The hope is that developers can use what has been built to continue to provide information that can help more people use transit in a productive way.