Over the last few months we’ve received lots of useful feedback on some of the buses-specific features on our website, and we’ve noticed some recurrent themes. We’ve worked hard to act upon your feedback in as short a time as possible, and in this post I’ll address some of your key questions and concerns, as well as what we’ve done about them.
Adding ‘my favourite buses’ to get live arrivals
We recently introduced a new feature on our website that allows you to save your favourites, as described in this blog post from April. The favourites feature allows you to save your bus stops in order to to get live arrivals information on the go.
Your feedback told us that some of you were having difficulty finding your bus stops, and initially it was only possible to save your buses from the bus stop page. We realised that people wouldn’t always remember the bus stop name, but would know their route number, so we introduced an option to save buses from the bus routes pages as well.
How can I find buses near me?
It also became clear from your feedback that there was some frustration around the inability to find buses nearby, as well as around major hub stops such as Victoria or Kings Cross, and as such we’ve now introduced ‘Buses Nearby’.
If you search for buses near you, or any of the hubs from the buses search, you’ll now land on the Buses Nearby page. On this page you’ll see your location on the map and the list of bus stops near you. Click on the bus stop of your choice and you’ll get live arrivals info for that stop, as well as an option to save that bus stop for future reference.
Live arrivals for closed bus stops
We know there was some concern around bus stop showing live arrivals when the stop is closed, though the information flow for bus diversions, closures and disruptions is very complex.
We’ve identified the issues behind this information flow and have fixed a key element. Now in most cases where a bus stop is closed you’ll get a ‘Bus stop closed’ message rather than any arrivals information. We’re now working to ensure this covers every single stop closure as quickly as possible after the closure has taken effect.
Buses pages: Performance issues
We realised that where pages have a map, the page loading speed was causing frustration for some customers, and we’ve resolved this issue by making the maps hidden from the page by default with the option to display if you want to.
Based on your feedback, we’ve also reordered the bus stop pages to show live arrivals as the first thing on the page.
How can I bookmark My Buses?
There was also quite a few comments on how customers are able to bookmark buses, so we’ve introduced a ‘My Buses’ panel on the buses landing page.
When you save buses, your choices are reflected on both the home page and buses landing page. While you cannot bookmark the favourites panel itself, you can bookmark the home page or buses landing page for quick access to live arrivals when you’re on the move.
We hope you’ll find these improvements make for a better experience, and we are continuing to improve our buses tools, analysing your feedback and responding with updates and improvements as quickly as we can.
In order to help us continually improve, please keep your feedback coming in the comments section below. We know there are more things you would like us to do and we’re working hard to make things better still.
We’ll also be available on Twitter @TfLBusAlerts for a Q&A session on 20th October between 13:00 – 14:00. Join us and we will be happy to answer any of your website-related buses questions. Use the hashtag #AskBusesWeb to join the conversation.