Most buses in York are now fitted with real-time tracking equipment, providing live departure time information via on-street displays and internet-connected devices.
Real-time information screens
Electronic screens are fitted at many key bus stops, including the majority of stops in York city centre. If your service number is showing a corresponding departure time in minutes (e.g. '3 mins') then that bus is being tracked in real-time. Departures showing clock times (e.g. '11:42') are not being tracked.
A range of free apps are available from bus operators and other providers. Try searching for First Bus, Transdev Go, East Yorkshire Buses, Arriva UK Bus or MyTrip Passenger on the App Store or Google Play.
On the web
The Metro Yournextbus webpage can display real time departure information for connected stops and services across the Yorkshire region - just enter an 8-digit stop code, route number or postcode.
QR and NFC codes
Our on-street bus timetables include a QR code and an NFC tag which can both be used to access free real-time information on your smartphone.
When you refer to one of our timetables, look out for the section at the bottom of the left-hand timetable panel, similar to the image shown here.
Using the QR code
If you have a smartphone with a camera, first you'll need to download an app to read QR (Quick Response) codes. Several free apps are available - search your app store for "QR code reader" or "barcode scanner". Newer phones can usually read QR codes directly using the built-in camera app.
From then on, all you need to do is aim your phone's camera at the black and white square pattern. Your phone should then find a web-link which will open up a real-time information display showing your next bus departures for the stop you're at.
Using the NFC tag
If your phone includes NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, it's even easier to get live bus information. Simply make sure the NFC feature is enabled on your phone, then place it over the blue NFC icon. Your phone should detect the presence of the NFC tag (some phones make an audible 'beep') and then offer to open a web link to the real-time information.
NFC technology is included in many current mobile devices. If you're not sure whether your phone is NFC-capable, check your user manual or the manufacturer's website. If you're planning to upgrade to an NFC phone, the NFCWorld website has a comprehensive list of current and upcoming NFC-enabled phones.
Save your favourites
Once you've used a QR code or NFC tag, bookmark the stop in your web browser. Next time you travel you can view live information for your favourite stops before you set off.
How the real-time system works
Buses operated by Arriva, ConnexionsBuses, East Yorkshire, First and Transdev are able to send live location data from their ticket machines to the real-time system.
The core real-time information system is provided under contract to a consortium of local authorities consisting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and City of York Council.
It is the responsibility of local bus operators to submit accurate timetable and service cancellation data into the system and to ensure that the real-time equipment fitted to their vehicles is functioning correctly.
Find out where to board your bus in York city centre.