Want to know exactly when the next bus or train is leaving?

Real-time travel information about buses and rail travel, that shows when the next bus or train is due to arrive at a chosen location, is now available to download to smartphones via a pocket version of a SmartPanel.

The Pocket SmartPanel provides travellers with bespoke, up-to-date information to help inform their travel choices.

Free to access, the pocket SmartPanel gives access to real-time information (when available), showing when the next buses will be arriving at a bus stop along with the scheduled times for the rest of the day. It also shows local weather forecasts plus real-time and timetabled travel information for when the next trains will be departing from your chosen station.

The original SmartPanels, developed by Smart Cambridge in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, provide location-specific, up-to-date information to inform travel choices such as live bus and train times, road traffic maps, Twitter travel updates and weather reports, and have been placed in 20 locations since 2018 around Cambridge.

Following a positive response from staff and visitors to offices and venues where they’re placed, the pared-down, pocket version of the SmartPanel screen was developed and works with any browser on any type of device, so you don’t need to install an app.

Search for the bus stop nearest to your location, or manually move around the map to look in other areas. Save your favourite stops and rail stations, or the locations you usually travel from, so it’s quicker to access the information next time. The ‘map view’ displays the position of buses in real-time so you can actually ‘see’ the buses approaching the stop.

Dr Ian Lewis, Director of Infrastructure Investment at University of Cambridge, said: “We’ve established a complex data platform to process travel information from across the city, and through the Pocket SmartPanel have made an effort to provide a clean, simple display for bus timetable and real-time information, railway departures, and weather info, that you can view quickly on your mobile phone.”

Dan Clarke, Strategy and Partnerships Manager for the Smart Cambridge programme, said: “After listening to the needs of existing users and colleagues, we wanted to create something that would give travellers tailored information to enrich their travel experience and enable them to make decisions based on real-time data.

“Waiting for a bus when you’re not sure if it’s going to arrive on time can be a stressful and time-consuming experience. The Pocket SmartPanel gives our users access to the information they need, when they need it.

“Since its launch, we’ve had really positive feedback from users who appreciate the real-time data it provides, and having the ability to choose preferred bus stop and rail station locations, along with being able to check the weather, in one handy platform.”

The new pocket SmartPanel will work on any browser on any type of device. To download a pocket SmartPanel follow these simple instructions:

  1. Open the browser on your phone or tablet (Safari, Google, Internet etc)
  2. Type in: smartcambridge.org/p
  3. Accept the terms and conditions, and add the page to your phone’s ‘Homescreen’
  4. The page will automatically display Cambridge weather and Cambridge rail station train times. Use the + symbol (top right) to choose and add bus stop timetables, train timetables, and the weather, for locations of your choice and click ‘Save’ each time
  5. Remove pages by tapping the menu button (three lines, top left)

Watch this short video to find out more:

Instead of rushing for no reason or wasting time waiting, you can now plan to arrive in time with the bus or train. If you use a stop or station regularly – such as one by your home or workplace – save the stop to the pocket SmartPanel on your homescreen, so the information is always at your fingertips.