Bus travel by phone

image4Where we live there’s not a lot of public transport so my Super Gold Card doesn’t get much use. Taking a trip to a city means a change in mind set. What public transport might be available? Where do I catch it? What time does it come? There’s the whole range of these sorts of questions that these days I can use my phone to answer.

First I have to get to the city – and I often use long distance bus transport. Locally now there is only one option – Intercity. Their phone app makes it easy for me to find a bus, book a ticket, pay for it online using my credit card and receive the confirmed booking to show the driver.  It also has a Where’s my Bus? Feature so when waiting to hop on I can see if the bus is on time or running late.  Family waiting for me to arrive can check also check its progress.

Once I get to the big city I can use the local transport service App. Auckland Transport  (AT) has several.  Recently I stayed with friends while my husband was in Auckland City Hospital. My friends had no idea how to get to the hospital by bus.  I downloaded the AT Journey Planner App. I entered their address, the hospital as my destination and what time I wanted to arrive. It told me the nearest bus stop, the time the bus would leave, how long it would take to walk there, the bus number, the route and the time it would take to walk to the hospital at the other end.  There was a map so I couldn’t get lost.

image5Once I’d managed the two minute walk to the bus stop I used another AT App – RealTime Board to find out when my bus would arrive at my stop.  This shows the next time the bus is scheduled and the actual time it will arrive.  As I wasn’t far from the start of the route there wasn’t a lot of difference but you can imagine puffing to a stop with no sign of a bus. If you just have the printed timetable on the post then you wonder if the bus has already gone or not. With Realtime Board you put in the number of the Bus Stop and it tells you!

The Wellington area has a similar service called Metlink https://www.metlink.org.nz

I’m off to see WOW in October. A quick check shows I can get a train from the Mana Station to Wellington Station then walk 13 minutes to the Stadium for the show. I’ll feel like such a city-fied person arriving by public transport!  Next I check the frequency of trains returning in the evening, as I’m not sure what time the show will finish. There’s one at 11.00 but after that it’s the midnight bus to Porirua and then a train.  That doesn’t sound quite so appealing.  The Adult Fare is $8 each way but I’m thinking that my Super Gold Card might work instead.

By Kaye Lally