App Review: Bus Checker For iPhone

By M@ Last edited 80 months ago
App Review: Bus Checker For iPhone

When's the next bus due? London's bus stops often have handy countdown boards that let you make an informed decision about whether to wait, or go grab a coffee. But there are many stops that lack these readouts. Passengers with iPhones can now use a new app to see where their bus has got to from any of London's 19,000 bus stops.

If this sounds familiar, you probably read about TfL's Countdown site, which launched less than a month ago. This web-based service was welcomed as a potential game-changer for those with long waits between scheduled busses. Finally, you could check up on the real-time progress of any bus, and not waste time hanging around for a service that's still 20 minutes away.

The natural evolution for this use of data is to stick it into an app. London Bus Checker basically takes TfL's data and repackages it into a friendly phone-based version.

The app has a very clean interface. There are only three types of page: the main map view (top), which shows all nearby bus stops; the countdown board (right), accessed when you click on any given bus stop; and the list view, a handy way of browsing all the local services and finding out which bus stop you need. It's also possible to bookmark your most-used stops for quick reference.

The app is much swifter and simpler to use on a mobile than plodding through TfL's web site. That said, the latter also shows the full route of any given service, a useful tool if you're journeying to unfamiliar parts of town and want to know where you're going. Something for version 2, perhaps.

Bus Checker is out now for iPhone and other Appley species, price £1.49. Data come from TfL, but the app is independently produced by FatAttitude, Ltd.

Last Updated 27 September 2011

Richard M

It's clearly a nice app but I beg to differ that TFL's site is 'plodding' and slow to use. I have an alias to TFL's mobile Countdown site (not the standard one, but: on my home screen and it couldn't be snappier or easier to use. Before shelling-out I'd recommend a wait-and-see attitude to apps which use TFL's ibus APIs and then decide which is best; personally I'd be interested to see what Malcolm Barclay comes-up with - his transport apps are of very high quality and great value. (and no, I'm not his agent/friend/wife/him :)  ).


It's also worthwhile checking out Next Bus London. It has the missing features mentioned above (such as full route maps of any given service) and is only 69p. You can find it on iTunes at


You might also want to check out Nearest Bus (esp Richard M) - it's based around finding out the next bus coming to the stop you are at, right now:

69p, as it should be :)


If you are on android, you can have this app for free

Nick Chadwick

BusMate London does the same job for 69p, and is the only app that includes the ability to set reminders that will tell you when your bus is coming. Check it out at

Carl P

Just as a follow up to this article, I'm happy to announce that the reviewed app, London Bus Checker, is now available for Android phones too :

It's the first app of its kind to offer a home-screen widget with live bus times!


Bus Scout on Android is national and can display routes as a list of stops or on the map. Can also use GPS to track your position so you know when to get of if its a route you are not familiar with.