Pros & Cons of 7 Bus Arrival Apps in S’pore ‘Cuz Time is Money

Image: LTA, SG Busleh & Mothership

Bus arrival timings have come a long way. It used to be that we could not even track their arrivals, to now being having an electronic board at bus stops and plethora of apps; all to save your time and frustration. Here are 7 bus arrival apps for you to beat the clock with!


bus arrival app:
Image Source: LTA

This is the official app from the Land Transport Authority (LTA), so you’ll be able to access bus arrival timings by searching for bus stops near you. It even comes with a fare calculator!  Other information such as cycling routes, traffic news, and even a “snap and send” function for commuters to report on traffic are also available.

Pros: The app allows you to search for information about bus, train, and even taxi services. There is a built-in fare calculator to estimate your fares, and information for all kinds of bus services, even premium bus services that traverse the Central Business District Area, and SMRT Night Buses that only travel at night. Bus arrival timings are updated in real-time.

Cons: The app only serves newer Android phones (Android 2.2 to 4.4 are no longer supported). This can be a drawback for those who are holding on to older phones.

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2) SBS Transit Iris

bus arrival app: sbs transit iris
Image Source: NUS

This is the official, mobile app for SBS Transit. It provides information on bus services, routes, and arrival timings for SBS buses. SBS Transit is run by Comfort Delgro Corporation.

Pros: The app allows you to save the bus services and bus stop IDs for SBS buses that you use frequently so that you do not have to keep searching for the numbers.

Cons: As the name suggests, the app only provides information on SBS buses. You will not be able to get information on SMRT buses or Tower Transit buses. This is inconvenient when you want to obtain information on SBS Transit buses.

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3) SG Busleh

bus arrival app: sg busleh
Image Source: SG Busleh

This cute app uses Singlish to prompt users; it’s so authentically Singaporean! It pulls in bus arrival time data from LTA and allows you to check for bus arrival timings for major bus services (SMRT, SBS,and shuttle buses for NUS, NTU) in Singapore.

Pros: The very user-friendly interface opens with a map. On tapping the bus service, you get to see how far away your bus is on the map. It also shows the capacity of the buses as simple bars. A very useful feature at peak hour if you do not want to squeeze with the crowd! The app also shows you the arrival timing for the next two buses.

Cons: Unfortunately, this app has advertisements on the bottom half of the screen. While it doesn’t interfere with user functionality, it can get annoying if you have fat fingers and accidentally press on the advertisements while scrolling through.

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4) Google Maps Transit

bus arrival apps: google maps transit
Image Source: Author

Google Maps Transit uses Google Maps to find bus service routes and shows arrival timings when you search for directions from place to place.

Pros: Google Map allows you to search for your route and display the shortest way to get there, be it via walking or by public transport. This means even bus and SMRT timings are displayed. Very handy if you do not want to download a special app for bus arrival timings.

Cons: The app is not always accurate; it relies on fixed routes and arrival timings of the bus services, and so cannot provide real-time data if there is a bus or MRT breakdown.

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5) Singapore Maps

bus arrival apps: singapore maps
Image Source: MollyMia

If you have ever used, you will know that its website provides navigation information for Singapore. It’s now available on an app that you can download to your smartphone.

Pros: The app allows you to download offline maps to store on your phone, a handy feature if you are experiencing slow data access. There is also real-time bus timings featured on this app.

Cons: Due to the offline map functionality, the app has been very buggy and users have reported having to update the offline maps repeatedly when they go online. Google Maps also allows users to download offline maps, so if you really need to access maps offline, Google Maps might be a better option than this app for now.

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6) Bus Time Bot on Telegram

bus arrival apps: telegram bot
Image Source: Author

This service is not an app on its own, but makes use of the Telegram App to get bus arrival timings.

Pro: If you already use the Telegram App, this is super handy. Just message the bot your bus stop ID and it will instantly reply with bus services and arrival timings.

Cons: You need to download the Telegram App first, and unlike other apps which can tell you more information, for instance, the proximity of the bus, the Telegram Bot does not provide any other information apart from bus arrival timings.

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7) Bus Uncle

bus arrival apps: bus uncle
Image Source: Mothership

Bus Uncle is a bot that you can chat with via FB messenger. Bus Uncle can tell you a lot; from bus arrival timings to the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to get to your route, the bot delivers all in the tone of your favourite friendly neighbourhood bus captain.

Pros: It feels like talking to a real person. You just need to message the Bot to ask about the bus service. He will prompt you if you are not sure of the location by asking you to take a photo. Once the bot gets your bus service, it can tell you how long it takes to get to your stop. The prompts will make you smile; for instance, when asked how long it takes for a bus to arrive, he will reply, “8 mins go boil egg”. There are even Monday jokes to cheer you up.

Cons: You need to download the FB messenger app in order to use it. This might be a hassle if you don’t already use the app.

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There you have it, 7 services to help you save your time and frustration while waiting for the bus! Now you do not have to wait in the sweltering heat and can enjoy the cool comfort of your office or shopping mall before catching the bus home!

This article originally appeared on BeScene SG.