Real-Time Transit App of the Day: A Ballet of Buses in San Francisco

The SF Live Bus app adds a bit of whimsy to the highly practical world of transit arrival data.

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SF Live Bus

Real-time bus arrival software isn't exactly new at this point, but the SF Live Bus app and accompanying website deserves a special shoutout for ... let's call it whimsy. The free app, launched last month for iOS, lets you watch as San Francisco MUNI buses, represented by red pins on the map, move through the city. It goes beyond just arrival times to create a kind of animated bus ballet.

For anyone heading to San Francisco and planning to download the app, be advised that you need to have the very latest in Apple products (I couldn't download it on my iPhone 4 as it's only available for the 4S and above, although I could load the webmap on my mobile browser). And as is the case for apps with similar functionality like Uber, variations in GPS signal strength can lead to occasional weird blips in bus movement—I had my eye on an inbound bus on busy Market Street, for instance, which appeared to be stopped for some time when it suddenly zoomed ahead several blocks in a matter of seconds.

Top image: Screenshot of SF Live Bus website; Right image: Screenshot of iPhone app.

(H/T New York Times Bits Blog)

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