Though there are bus lanes around Seattle to keep busses on schedule, they can get caught in traffic, too! How do you know when your bus or train will be late? OneBusAway! The free OneBusAway app was created as an open-source project by students at the University of Washington and is now run by Sound Transit. It was designed to provide Seattle transit riders real-time information regarding arrival times of busses and trains (this includes the Link light rail). If your bus is running late (or early!), OneBusAway will let you know how many minutes until arrival. Trust us when we say this comes extremely handy in the morning. You’ll have a wave of relief knowing you bought yourself a couple of extra minutes before scurrying to your stop/station.
You can search the OneBusAway app by transit routes, stops, and addresses. This gives you the opportunity to plan your route before you go. Do you need directions? OneBusAway guide you from your current location to your bus stop or rail station. Overall, the app is user-friendly and very popular among commuters here in the Puget Sound – and beyond! The OneBusAway app is so popular, they’ve expanded to other markets including Atlanta, Tampa, and New York City! Closer to home, OneBusAway provides real-time information for 13 area transit agencies, connecting riders as far north as Everett down to Olympia. It tracks approximate wait times for those taking not only the bus, but also includes light rail, Sounder trains, and even ferries. The app allows you to set alerts to warn you when your bus/train/ferry is approaching, helping you plan your commute perfectly.
Speaking of planning, the app works great alongside the King County Metro Planner. This website shows not only all King County bus routes, but using GPS, it will plot out exactly where along the route the bus is. When used together, the Planner will tell you when to get out of the door and One Bus Away will tell you how long of a wait at the stop you can expect.
This concludes our mini-series revolving around Seattle’s many public transit opportunities. We hope this has been helpful for those of you that are new to the area or considering making the move to Seattle. If you like what you read, be sure to stay tuned for our complete guide around Seattle transit opportunities, helping you find the smoothest work commute possible!
In the mean time, if you have questions about Seattle public transit, visit the King County Metro or Sound Transit websites. Who knows? Maybe your first adventure on Seattle public transit will be a trip to see us at Parker! We’re in walk-able and bike-able distance from many bus lines, the South Lake Union Trolley, and the Water Taxi, too.
(This post was updated in March 2018)