Sick of shifting from foot to foot at your bus stop, as the time your bus was supposed to arrive comes and goes? There's hope that your impatience will be reduced at least slightly from now on.
After spending almost two years making upgrades, Metro relaunched its Next Bus service on Wednesday. Next Bus technology uses GPS and what it calls "advanced computer modeling" to track buses on their routes every two minutes.
The system uses the actual position of the bus, its intended stops and typical traffic patterns to estimates the bus arrivals.
How to access Next Bus information:
Phone: When you're at a Metrobus stop, call (202) 637-7000. Say "next bus" when prompted; then enter the bus stop number that's listed on the Next Bus sign on the stop post, as well as the bus route number. You'll then hear the estimated arrival time of the next bus at your stop.
Web: Go to Metro's home page or directly to http://wmata.nextbus.com.
Enter your bus stop number (or the route number, direction and stop location) via drop-down menus. You'll then see the estimated arrival times of the next three buses. This seems like it might be the best option to avoid being late, since you can check it before you even leave the house.
Mobile Device: Visit http://www.wmata.com/mobile/. Choose option 3, Next Bus and follow the directions from there.
LED Signs: Some popular Metrobus stops now have LED signs that display when the next bus is arriving, similar to the Metrorail system. However, there are currently only 38 such signs out of about 12,000 bus stops. The signs are mostly located at the Friendship Heights, Anacostia and Pentagon bus transfer stations, and along the Ballston/Rosslyn corridor.