The Translink Next Bus Feature

Have you ever walked out the door or stood at a bus stop and wondered when the next bus is coming? Translink's "Next Bus" service gives you an easy way to find out.

"Next Bus" isn't new, but doesn't seem widely known either. I periodically meet people who don't know about it, or don't know that it's available both via SMS text message on mobile phone and on the Translink website. I only discovered the website feature recently, myself. Here's how it works.

Every bus stop pole has a unique 5 digit number identifying the bus stop.

Bus Sign Bus Sign

Using this number with "Next Bus" gives you the next 6 buses coming to that bus stop.

On your mobile phone you text message the 5 digit number to 33333. You'll get a text message back with the next 6 buses.

Via the web you use the "Next Bus" feature on Translink's website,

Next Bus on Translink Website

Simply enter the number on the form and click "Find Next Bus".

"Next Bus" also has a page of its own you can bookmark, look for "Next Bus" in the teeny-tiny fine print navigation at the top of the Translink website page. The bookmarkable URL is:{$SID}. (Hey Translink web-folk: How about a people friendly URL like ""?)

The Translink website does undergo changes. Hopefully if the "Next Bus" page URL changes, they'll provide a redirect. They've consistently keep the service name the same, so if the website looks different from the screen shot, search around for "Next Bus".

Sadly, the information is based on the fixed schedule, not real time information. If there's a breakdown or some other unanticipated delay it won't be reflected in the response. Translink has an Alerts page, but I never think to check it. (Hey Translink web-folk, me again, how about relevant route alerts appearing on the next bus results page?)

Reminder NoteOne last thing to beware of. While it would be cool if you could bookmark the result URL so one click would always get you the next 6 buses at your regular bus stop, you can't. The time is embedded in the results URL, so you'd only get the same results regardless of the time. I really wish I could bookmark this so I could get rid of this reminder sticky note off my monitor!


Nice in theory wrote 10 years 42 weeks ago

lacking in reality

My not so scientific test has led me to believe that translink doesn't really know when the bus is coming making the usefulness of the service is questionable.

dale wrote 10 years 38 weeks ago

I feel your pain.

I feel your pain. Unfortunately it only shows the scheduled times, not a real estimate, and some of the little stops it's only a suggestion plus or minus. And I've been following Translink on twitter, @translink, and it's surprising how many little hang ups there are on different routes during the day.

If the driver is really out of line on the time, they have a complaint reporting form. If you don't say anything they'll never know! (Not immediately satisfying, but perhaps useful in the long run)

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