Transport for London (TfL) has begun testing a website that allows commuters in London to find out how long they will be left waiting for a bus.
Approximately 2,000 of the 19,000 bus stops in London have an electronic screen to inform people when the next bus is due to arrive. However, by using countdown.tfl.gov.uk, users can find out how long they will be waiting for their bus at any of London’s stops.
The new feature is due to be fully launched in the autumn, TfL said, and will allow commuters to access the countdown website from their web browser or mobile phone.
Users can find bus stops by keying in their five digit code, or look them up using its road name or postcode. You can save bus stops you use regularly or manually bookmark the web pages, while users can also filter out routes irrelevant to their commute.
A TfL spokesman told the BBC: “TfL has commenced user testing of the new ‘countdown’ system which will provide real bus arrival information for all 19,000 bus stops across London via the web and SMS.
“The existing roadside sign service is currently limited to 2,000 bus stops and this new service covering all buses and all stops will launch fully in the autumn of this year,” he said.
Despite not being officially launched by TfL, it has already become popular with internet users. Word spread quickly after one user spotted the service in testing mode and it became a trending topic on Twitter.
However, the new service will not feature bendy buses for too much longer after TfL said they would be completed phased out within a matter of months.
Commuters have used bendy buses across 12 routes in London, but they have been removed from five services already and TfL says they will be completely dropped by the end of the year.
TfL believes fare evasion will be cut by £7.4 million a year by ridding London of bendy buses.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “These ginormous machines are far more suited to the wide open vista of a Scandinavian airport than London’s narrow streets and I am delighted that another London bus route has seen the back of them.
“Equally pleasing is that we are removing the hardcore fare evaders favourite form of transport and we hope to see a boost to revenue on this route as a result.”