There’s nothing worse than hanging around at a bus stop waiting for a bus to come but not knowing when it is actually due. Using bus timetables can make any wait a little easier to bear, even if the bus then turns out to be late!
There are various ways to get hold of timetables for your local buses or for longer range or national routes. These include:
- Bus stops -- most bus stops will have timetables on them somewhere. These will list the buses that actually call at the stop and the times that they run.
- Individual bus timetables -- most bus companies will produce individual timetables for each of their routes. These can often be picked up on buses themselves or from the bus depot/information office. Some tourist information services may also keep bus timetables (and may also be able to help you get times if they don’t have any timetables to hand).
- Bus timetable books -- some bus companies and many councils or local authorities will regularly produce a book that contains bus timetables for a specific region. So, for example, a bus company may have a book that covers all of its services which it publishes once a year. Or a local council may produce a book that has timetables for all buses and operators in the area. Some will also include local train timetables which can be useful as well.
- Online timetables -- many bus companies will also list their timetables on their website which can be useful. Here you simply need to go to the bus timetables page and click on the number of bus you want to catch to bring up its timetable. Some sites allow route planning into the bargain. In this case you would give a starting point and a destination and the site would then show you which bus or buses you need to catch, where to catch them and when they run.
Using bus timetables before you travel may well take some of the strain out of using this form of public transport. Bear in mind that timetables do change over time (many will be updated annually) so it is important to check that any timetable that you use is up to date. Finally, remember to leave plenty of time to get to the bus stop. Some buses have a habit of leaving early as well as late!