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Best London Bus Route App

Hello everyone, I've been looking for the best London Bus Route App. So far I've found a few but not sure which one I should download. I'm looking for one that is easy to use. I already downloaded an app for the Tube which is very easy to use. Thank you.

Posted by
5817 posts

Use Citymapper.
It is free and covers all forms of public transport in London as well as walking options.
I use it everyday and find it very helpful

Posted by
30958 posts

Raymond,

Citymapper looks like a fantastic App, but it appears to require cellular data at least for some functions. I assume you'll be travelling with an international roaming plan of some kind?

Posted by
23550 posts

Ken, both emma and I use Citymapper, and I have plenty of data as part of my phone deal, and I expect that emma has as well.

I agree it might be a concern for people trying to be economical with their data usage, but I also know from reading on this Helpline that the picture is changing in terms of included data on some US and Canadian plans.

If data isn't a concern, the app is exceedingly excellent.

Posted by
4654 posts

If possible, you want an app with a data connection, as this allows you to download real-time information about the next buses to reach your location.

Posted by
5817 posts

Real time bus information isn't provided at all bus stops even in central London.
Many stops, even in busy and popular locations, still don't have the tfl countdown boards showing bus arrival times.

Obviously we all coped without livetime bus info before we had gps on buses and smart phones! But having it does make travel easier and more efficient. It helps save a lot of hanging around time.

Posted by
823 posts

Raymond,

While it does require an internet connection of some sort (cellular or WIFI), I feel the Transport for London web site is the best mobile bus and tube travel-planner out there. It really does justify the cost of a pay-as-you-go SIM card for you phone.

Posted by
2 posts

We just returned from a 2-week trip throughout the UK. This included 3 days and 2 nights in London.

I'd agree with others. Use CityMapper. I used it both with WIFI and cellular data.

As an example, sitting in a pub over lunch on their WIFI, I was able to find my route back to "home" which I preset to be the hotel where we were staying. I set my departure for 15 minutes in the future, chose a route/tube station and then disconnected by going to airplane mode. That route information stayed with me for the nearly 60 minute ride, with a transfer, back to "home".

I also used this with cellular data for on-the-fly travel information when we were on the street making a change of plans. It was helpful to know the time and ease of reaching possible destinations when we were suddenly faced with juggling attractions for the remainder of the day.

On the downside, this app isn't too helpful at helping you navigate the walking portion of your trip. It will show your current location, departure station, arrival station, and final [walking] destination. However, it doesn't help you navigate the walking portions. If you find that you need help with that, I'd recommend simply using Google Maps/navigation. That was extremely helpful although it does require a constant data connection.

NOTE: There are downsides to using navigation in London and other big cities anywhere. Be prepared for what I call GPS bounce. Occasionally it appears that you are walking a different direction or in a slightly different location. I believe that this is due to GPS signals bouncing in through the skyscrapers surrounding you. To get around this, walk to the next street corner where [presumably] there's a larger gap to the sky. Movement is also necessary sometime for Google Maps to update your location and direction. So, don't be embarrassed or reluctant to move one way only to turn around and walk right past those same people at the sidewalk cafe that you just passed. If they've even noticed, just smile and crack on! :-)