Where IS that bus?
You've probably asked yourself that question over and over as you wait at a bus stop in the blistering summer heat. Maybe you arrived on time, but there's no sign of your bus or train coming and there's no indication that it's already passed your stop. Is it coming in two minutes? Or is the next one coming in 20?
Before, there was no way of accessing that information. Now, there is. The new Valley Metro app has everything a Phoenix mass transit rider needs to get around, including a way to quickly see where your next bus or train is.
The new Valley Metro app is very easy to use, and you can't beat the price. The free download is available on the Apple App store for iPhones and the Google Play store for Android devices. Once you start the app, it’ll provide a map and zoom in on your location. From there, you can type in your destination or simply use your finger to move the map to where you'd like to go.
All the bus stops are clearly marked with purple icons, while rail stops are indicated with blue icons. Selecting them will give you a list of upcoming bus arrival times, along with a heart icon to save the stop as one of your favorites. The app will also tell you whether the bus or train heading for that stop is early, on time, or running late.
For me, the real star of the show is the real-time bus and train location feature. If you zoom in to a certain height, you'll be able to see buses in motion on the map. Buses are represented by purple circles with their route numbers inside, and there's a little arrow indicating which way they're going. That could be just the information you need to know whether you should tough it out at the bus stop for another three minutes or if you have time to head inside and enjoy some air conditioning for a while.
Real-time vehicle tracking is just the tip of the iceberg for this new app. If you create an account on the app, you’ll be able to get service updates and notifications that may affect your commute. Later, more features will be added, including mobile ticketing and reloadable smart cards! Download the new app, check it out, and get ready for more in the future as you ride with us on Valley Metro.