The ability to find out when the next Metro Bus is coming is now here, according to The Source.

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority is using NextBus, the  same GPS technology as our BruinBuses, to predict and report the arrival time of the next Metro Bus.

You can access arrival information in one of three ways:

  • via your smartphone at http://m.metro.net
  • via your computer, at http://www.metro.net/service/nextrip/
  • via your cell phone, by dialing 41411 and typing “metro” plus your bus stop’s five digit number. To find out your bus stop’s number, click here. I’ll break down the numbers for bus stops near the University in another blog post (I promise!)

This is still in beta, and Metro welcomes your feedback here.

And yes, this is a different system than the one deployed on a dozen (or so) Metro Rapid bus to predict bus arrival time based on sensors underneath the street. That system was notoriously unreliable.

In contrast, I’ve already tested this new system yesterday evening, and it worked beautifully.

Two tidbits:

  • When you use Nextrip on your smartphone at UCLA, it’ll pull up BruinBus stops  too because BruinBus also uses the same firm for its GPS tracking and real-time reporting.
  • By clicking on the View Live Map button of thispage, you can find out WHERE THE BUS IS and watch little dots move on a Google map.

Screenshot of real time bus movements on Google Map.