You may have noticed – Plymouth Citybus have a new web site:
Initial impressions are fairly good with a nice clean design. Its not always clear where you need to click – actually the red +Read More lines are links. These make a bit more sense on the mobile version, which this site is clearly designed for, sadly slightly at the expense of those of us who use big screens. Citybus / Go Ahead are not alone in this by any means.
So, most importantly, what are the timetables like?
Now this is where we see that the site has clearly been designed for mobiles over anything else. The grey route information panels look great on mobiles but it all looks a bit too big and clunky on a full size screen. Anyway we click on a route to view timetables, Lets see the 72:
Now on my home PC using Chrome this isnt too bad but when I accessed this at work on a Firefox machine it didn't line up at all well. Hopefully for most people it will work better. You can see that you need to scroll the page left and right to view the full timetables. On a mobile it works really well. There is also a nice handy guide on where to catch the bus on Royal Parade which is a nice touch.When I tried earlier there was no way of downloading printed versions but this has now been sorted. This link does download a full timetable along with other detail and is designed as a double sided A4 landscape printout which can fold into a pocket size timetable.
The map is interesting as what you get are simple route diagrams rather than full maps:
On the mobile these dont show up at all at the moment. I am sure this will be fixed soon but its a shame that better maps can not be made available. If you click on route info you do get a full street by street description of the route which is handy.
So what else can we find?
and some pretty good information on the vast range of ticket options now available
We also get a link to their twitter feed but don't expect to see a lot on there. First are better at this than Citybus but they probably have a bigger team covering the larger area. (There were reports that First are scaling back their twitter updates on the railways though…)
Its early days so hopefully the few minor bugs will be sorted out (several of the minor pages have missing images at the moment – like the “Dennis Dart” page etc. It would be nice to see better mapping too.
One thing it would be good to see soon, especially as their site is designed for mobiles, is much better integration with the Citybus app. Surely it cant be too difficult to link to the new timetables etc from within the app? And then maybe one day we can start to see reliable real time information on all routes?
At the moment I use the First bus app which is by far the best app I have come across and is useful for all routes in Plymouth, not just First – I use it for the 50 all the time! Occasionally you get real time info but otherwise you can get next bus timetabled info for any stop.
What do other think about the new site?