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NextBus DC App Stopped Working Dec. 20th, Website Still Working

by Prince Of Petworth — December 31, 2012 at 11:30 am 20 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

Dear PoPville,

My next bus is not working and I was wondering if others have heard reports. I keep getting a “connection error” for all of the lines that go up and down Columbia road.

Also wondering if you or the crowd know of any reliable and mobile alternatives to next bus.

Thanks and have a happy new year!

Some readers had mentioned last week in a rant/revel that there were having problems as well. The Washington Examiner reports:

Thousands of Metro riders who rely on a smartphone app to tell them when their next Metrobus is slated to arrive have been left in the dark after a divorce between tech companies took a nasty turn. NextBus DC, a popular app available in both a free and paid version, went dead on the evening of Dec. 20 when the company that provides the data stream pulled the plug.

I’ve had luck typing nextbus.com into a browser and it works for me.

  • I use DC Next Bus – it’s free and accurate. NextBus DC would never show the Georgia Avenue (70, 72, 79) buses, so I stopped using it a few months ago.

    So far I’ve been happy with DC Next Bus.

  • i always use the nextbus webpage, optimized for mobile safari. it uses your location to track and works just as well as a native app. haven’t had to take the bus recently so not sure if thats’ down too.

  • Lane

    Another vote for DC Next Bus – I appreciate the map-based view and it seems to be as reliable as any of these can be given the vicissitudes of WMATA.

  • michael

    You don’t need an app. Just point your phone’s browser to nextbus.com.

    • Anonymous

      nextbus.com seems to work great. I had nextbusdc.com bookmarked on my phone, and apparently that site was part of the service that has been shut down.

  • Anonymous

    What did people do before smart phones existed?

    • Anonymous

      wasted hours waiting for a bus that may or may not come.
      it sucked, especially after 10:00 PM.

      • +1. So many times I’d be waiting for the 42 bus late on a Saturday night, thinking maybe it was just 5 minutes late… then 10… then 20… then 30.

        After 35 minutes or so, I’d have to resign myself to that particular bus being a lost cause, and hoping that the next bus on the schedule actually showed up somewhere close to on time.

        • Anonymous

          it really sucked. and was, at times, dangerous.

    • Ugh

      So tired of people talking about smartphones like this, welcome to 2013. What did people do before toilet paper, genius?

  • Ever since I got a smartphone 2.5 years ago, I’ve used an Android app called DC Metro Transit and I’ve hardly ever had a problem with it – it shows arrival info for both buses and trains.

    • Yeah, that’s what I use too. I just checked and it’s still working.

    • Nabob of NoPe

      Just switched from Android to iPhone 5, and am dismayed by how bad the NextBus app for iPhone is, compared to the one for Android. Is there more than one iPhone app for DC NextBus? I can’t find one.

  • bb

    You can also text “WMATA [stop number]” to 41411 and get bus arrival info that way. That’s how us non-smartphone users do it.

    • Cool! I don’t have a smart phone so I always call and use the audio service, but sometimes if the traffic is loud the audio-activated lady is like “I’m sorry, did you say goodbye? Okay! Goodbye!!!!” and I’m like “no, no audio lady, I wanted bus times! 🙁 ” I shall now use texting, because I’m an advanced 90 year old trapped in a 24 year old body.

      • bb

        Yeah, that audio service is totally useless. They didn’t take noisy bus stops into account. Texting is way less frustrating.

    • ppp

      the real point though is to be able to sit at the bar, look at your phone, and calculate how many more drinks you can have before the bus comes.

      • I save common stop numbers in a “note” on my phone so I can look them up without having to be near the sign.

  • When the NextBus app stopped working, I went to the app store and ended up downloading iNextBus, which has been working fine. It seems to be a direct follow-up to the old app, and it even lets you revert to the old Nextbus app from within the new one. The main difference is that now there are ads. Banner ads on the bottom of the screen, and pop up ads you have to close. Not a fan of that, to put it mildly, but at least I know when the bus is coming again.

  • CPT_Doom

    I have never used an app for NextBus, just went to the mobile version of the WMATA website and did it through their link. Of course, I’m grandfathered into an unlimited data plan, so perhaps don’t realize all the drawbacks of that option.


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