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D.C. Bus App: BusTrackDC Is Here To Replace NextBus

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WASHINGTON -- For nearly two months, smartphone users resorted to the dark ages of bus travel.

When the NextBus app stopped working on December 20, people had to wait outside for large, horse-less carriages with nothing but hope and a paper bus schedule from the last decade. And Google Maps.

Now available for the iPhone is BusTrackDC. Similar to NextBus, the app uses WMATA's data feeds for arrival times.

We used the app today to get from Adams Morgan to Federal Triangle. Here's how it performed.

Pros
  • The app loads much quicker than NextBus. Also, it works.
  • The map is user friendly. No special bells or whistles.
  • The font size is small, allowing most bus routes to appear on the screen without having to scroll. Good if your route is flexible.
  • The app is free and open source. If you're tech adventurous, you can alter the program yourself.
Cons
  • Uses the same system as WMATA, which is far from perfect.
  • The font size is small, allowing most bus routes to appear on the screen without having to scroll. Bad if your eyes aren't good.

Verdict
A very good replacement for NextBus. If you're within walking distance or not exactly sure where you're headed, use Google Maps. If you want to find out when the 42 is coming, use BusTrackDC.

It's great that iPhone users will be able to accurately time their bus. Even so, they still might want to take the train.

BusTrackDC is available for free in the App Store.

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