New iPhone App Tracking DC Buses – BusTrackDC – Launches Today

Dear PoPville,

I’m a DC resident and I read your coverage earlier this year about the demise of the NextBus DC app. Like many others, I used that app every day to help me ride the bus to work, and when it stopped working I started looking for a replacement.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find an app for my iPhone that combined all the features I wanted — easy location of nearby bus stops, bus arrival predictions, and route maps. So, I decided to make an app myself to solve the issue for myself and other DC residents, and BusTrackDC is launching today!

The app is for iPhone, it’s free, and it’s also open source. I’m hoping to engage people like me — developers who live in DC and are interested in helping — to make the app better over time. For now, the key features are:

  • finds bus stops near your current location, so you can see where you have to walk to catch the bus
  • clicking on stops brings up real time predictions from WMATA for when each bus line is due next at that stop
  • for buses without predictions from WMATA, the lines are still listed so you know what bus lines service that stop
  • clicking on a line brings up a route map for that line, so you can figure out if that mystery bus coming down the block is going your way

28 Comment

  • Any chance of a version for those without iPhones?

  • Pretty sweet…just downloaded it. Thanks!

  • Has no one been using the DC Next Bus app instead? Since the Next Bus DC app failed, I’ve been using this one and it’s better. Look for the logo with the bus with the DC flag on a blue background.

  • NextBus doesn’t work anymore? When I visit in Safari and allow it to use my current location, it lists arrivals for DC and Circulator buses near me as of the time of this post.

    • A specific app that utilized Next Bus’s open source feed. They cut off the app for some reason and it’s essentially dead. It was the main app most DC people used to track the bus system. There’s other apps out there, but for Next Bus DC’s archaic user interface design, it had the most desired features of all of them.

      I use DC Metro & Bus now which is hands down more useful than any of the other apps out there (DC Next Bus included), and I can also eliminate my Metro separate app. And no, the Next Bus website just doesn’t do it for me (in a pinch maybe).

  • Cool, thanks! This is added functionality compared to DC Next Bus. Is there an app that has these functions combined with favorite stops or routes?

  • Thank you Jason! this is great!!!! I would nominate you for the PoP community award for this amazing service, if such a thing existed (Wait, does it exist? If not maybe it should!).

  • OK, so first impressions:

    1. Extremely limited. It appears you’ve made the app for a niche feature that other apps are lacking.
    2. It only has this one feature (a map with all the bus stop in DC). I can click on a stop and it lists all the buses that stop there any predictions (if any) for arrivals for that bus line.
    3. I can click on a bus line once I’ve clicked on a stop and it will show me all the stops of this line, which is nice.
    4. However it appears to show stops in both directions and its unclear which stop is for which direction.
    5. Also clicking on the stop in the bus route mode just tells me Street Names. It would be helpful if it also told me the ETA for all buses at that stop. Color coding direction would also help (Blue for one way and Red for another way). This would also help visually differentiate with the green stops when you’re in the overview mode.
    6. As stated this is extremely limited. I can just see a map. You need a bus stop favorite lists (and even a bus line favorite list). Also a list to search or browse other bus stops in list form, not just on a map.
    7. At this point there’s no reason why Metro train and Bus have to be separate apps. Circulator should be added too. (and incorporating Capital Bike would make you King of the Internet, just saying).

    For now I’ll keep using DC Metro & Bus App. It does what I need to do. While it lacks features like integrate bus stop maps and Circulator info, it provides me with Favorite stops for both Bus and Metro on one page. I’d really only use your App when I’m in an area that uses a line I’m unfamiliar with, but hopefully that changes as you make this a fully functioning app.

    • Thanks for the feedback! A lot of the features you’ve requested have been noted here, where I’m tracking them:

      Hopefully I’ll be able to push out an update soon with some new features!

      • That’s great! Honestly a bus/metro track app is about my most used app after Safari, Mail, and Internet Radio app. Great to see a developer engage the community so much for design and direction. You gonna generate an email listserv to announce any major developments? If so I’d love to sign up.

        Also a truly integrated app I’d be happy to pay for.

        • Huh, hadn’t thought of a listserve. Obviously, updates pushed to the apple app store will show up for users who’ve downloaded the app automatically. But an update list might make sense…

          • Yeah, I just thought knowing for me its a good idea. I’m terrible at getting apps updated and if there’s an app stashed away in a folder I’ll forget about it. But an email notifying me of some update or new feature will get me to go update the app and try it out again.

  • Good job!! I’m sure this app will grow and eventually have a version for Android. Thank you so much for sharing your app to the public!

  • downloading now, thanks!!!!!!

  • shaybee

    Thank you! I like your app, mainly because I can search stops that are not just right around me (my biggest complain with other apps)!

    I also second the addition of favorite stops/routes at some point in the future!

    You are awesome.

  • Jason,

    Thanks for what looks like a great new app! One other feature I’d love to see that NextBus used to have – the ability to bring up a sortable list of all the bus lines (alphabetical and numerical) so you can quickly go to a certain line without having to locate the stop on the map. For those of us who live near and use multiple bus lines, I find that is often faster and easier than going via the map function. Just a thought!

    Thanks again for doing this!

  • Awesome app, love it! Looking forward to added functionality down the road.

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