Improving SBS Transit’s iris NextBus

If you happen to use public transport in Singapore and also happen to surf the internets on the go, chances are that you’ve heard of SBS Transit’s NextBus information service, iris. I am a frequent user of this service and although I like it, there is one particular aspect of it that really annoys me. Allow me to illustrate.

iris homepage

This above is the home page of the iris service on which you enter the bus stop number & the bus service number for which you wish to know the arrival time. Although it isn’t obvious from the page, you can leave the bus service field empty and submit the form. When the bus service number is not specified, you get a page that lists all the services operating at the specified bus stop. Like this:

iris stop listing

Now once you get this page, you can click on any of the service numbers to get the estimated arrival times. Clicking on 93 above would get you:

iris service listing

And this is what annoys me. It is quite likely that I would be interested in more than one of these bus numbers. But to get information on multiple service numbers, I have to navigate back & forth between the service numbers listing & the individual service numbers arrival info.

To fix this annoyance, I made sbsnextbus.appspot.com. When you visit this new site, you are greeted with this page:

sbsnextbus homepage

As earlier, you just enter the bus stop number and hit Fetch. If all goes well, the resulting page will look something like this:

sbsnextbus service listing

There, all the arrival information in one easily accessible page! No more annoying back & forth navigation! So if you use public transport in Singapore and also happen to surf the internets on the go, please test out sbsnextbus.appspot.com and let me know how it works (or not!) for you.

Oh, here’s the QR Code to the site, if your phone supports reading these digital hieroglyphics:

sbsnextbus.appspot.com

Update: (4/Sep/2008) Hello to everyone coming here via Mr Brown’s blog! Thanks for your interest and for trying out this app! Your usage has revealed a few corner cases and bugs which I have now fixed. I’ve also made a few cosmetic changes suggested by Eric (in comments) and Jon (of iSinGeo.com) so that the pages display better on an iPhone.

Update: (7/Sep/2008) This app is now integrated with SinGeo as well as iSinGeo.com! Read the details on the SinGeo blog.

Update: (8/Sep/2008) The app now shows bus stop descriptions.

Update: (9/Sep/2008) Read the blog post describing some of the tech behind the app.

Update: (30/Oct/2008) New release with new features.