UK Bus Checker: an app to help you on the move

Woman with red hair and sunglasses sitting on a train

The Bus Checker app is a great way to get live tracking and scheduled bus times for more than 300,000 bus stops, trams, trains and even ferries. When it is appropriate to use the bus, this app will make it easier to plan your journey.

The Bus Checker app will alert you when your stop is coming up, so if you do not know when your stop is you will get a loud horn sound in your ear. You can save favourite stops, so it is really easy to find out when the next bus is.

The app works on both Apple and Android operating systems and comes with widgets for the notification area and also for the Apple watch face. The app has detailed roots and live departures in 40 cities across the UK and scheduled times for the other towns where you may not be able to get fully accurate live times for.

I'm Andy, an RNIB Technology Volunteer and a white cane user and I find this app priceless. I use VoiceOver on the iPhone and I also know this app works well on the Apple watch and on an iPad.

How to use

When you open Bus Checker you will be presented with a screen showing all the bus stops in your location. The app will announce these. The app also announces the stops that are on the opposite side of the road to where you are.

Open one of these bus stops to see the times a bus will stop there. Simply tap (or double tap if you use VoiceOver). The app will now start reading the bus times and state how many minutes it will be for the bus to arrive.

The top left button (three horizontal lines) before you click on a bus stop is Menu. In here you will find the Settings option. Here you can change what is displayed on start up. I prefer to get my Favourites page when I open the app, which makes it easier to find my normal bus stops.

If you find yourself in a different location you can choose Locate Me on startup in Settings. This makes the app more accurate and meaningful to the area you are in.

You can choose to cut out the ads in Settings. If you want to stop seeing advertisements, you must pay for the app. It is currently £3.59 to permanently remove the advertisements.

Display allows you to choose if you get a map or a list on your home screen, and if distance is displayed in miles or kilometres.

Accessibility is where you can choose the inbuilt access setting for the app. Separate to VoiceOver, the app can speak transit times, journey tracking and alert you about upcoming stops. You can also change the speed of the speech, making it faster of slower.

The next button along the top is Search (magnifying glass). If you know the name of the stop you require you can search for it here.

Next, is the Favourites button. This displays a list of all the stops you have marked as your favourites, the ones you use most often or on certain occasions. After double tapping on a bus stop, the favourites button will add the bus stop to the Favourites list.

Finally, on the top bar is Plan Journey (a road sign with a bent arrow). Here you can choose a starting point and a destination and the app will suggest different ways to get there, and tell you how long each alternative might take. You can choose different modes of transport and different departure times.

This is a stunning app and I really love it. It’s very accessible for me and I use it all the time.

Installation

The app is available from the Appstore or Google Play Store on your device and is easy to install.

Website: ukbuschecker.com

Author: Andy Blackburn, RNIB Technology for Life Volunteer

Members of The Technology for Life team at RNIB are early adopters of new technology and are sharing their own experiences with the most interesting and useful apps in this series of reviews. This is not an official accessibility review or audit, nor reviewed the site for any security or compliance with data processing law. For any issues concerning accessibility please raise these with the developer via its website.