COMMUTERS in Dublin can now check the arrival times of buses at all bus stops.
Minister for Public and Commuter Transport Alan Kelly today launched a new web, smartphone and text system covering all 5,000 bus stops served by Dublin Bus.
Passengers can use a new website, text service and iPhone app giving real time information. Users are able to get a live update of how far away their bus is, while the smartphone app gives the "live" positions of the Dublin Bus fleet.
It also emerged today that a network of rapid-transit bus services is being planned for the capital instead of more expensive light-rail systems.
Mr Kelly said, with the arrival of the new developments, "gone will be the days of staring into the distance wondering when the next bus will come".
The trial of real-time bus timetables in Dublin has been extended to Cork, with the Dublin scheme extended to include more than 300 of the signs.
The trial of the information signs is also to be extended to Galway, Limerick and Waterford next year. When the nationwide system is up and running, it is planned that anyone in the country will be able to use a single text number to find the proximity of buses near them.
The Department of Transport said passengers can access the latest service information using mobile web or their internet connection at home or work.
Passengers are also able to search by bus stop name, street name or area. It is also envisaged that those planning a journey on the web will also be able to search on a map. Bus arrival information for Bus Eireann also became available this year.
Meanwhile, the National Transport Authority has begun developing proposals for four Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors.
These could be developed at a far cheaper cost than the Metro North or other Luas tram systems. BRT services travel along lanes which are segregated from other traffic and are given priority at traffic lights.
Preparatory work has begun on four lines to the city centre from the Stillorgan Road, Blanchardstown, Malahide and Lucan.
It comes as Transport Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed he had suspended the planning process for the proposed 25km Metro West light-rail system which would have linked Tallaght to Dardistown.