In Montreal, you can finally track the bus in real time

The days of waiting at the bus stop in the freezing cold, wondering whether the bus has already gone by or is held up in traffic, may finally be behind us.

iBUS system gives transit users real time bus schedules, on STM website and on 3rd-party app

Where is that bus? Just in time for winter, the STM has launched its new iBus system. (Radio-Canada)

The days of waiting at the bus stop in the freezing cold, wondering whether the bus has already gone by or is held up in traffic, may finally be behind us.

The STM has released its long-awaited iBus system, which allows public transit users to find out when their bus is supposed to arrive in real time, instead of relying on the printed schedule.

The information will be available on the STM website and through a third-party app called Transit. There is a tutorial on the STM's website showing how it works.

Philippe Schnobb, the chair of the STM, says the new system will allow Montrealers to make more informed decisions. 

"You'll know exactly when to go out to take the bus," he told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
The information will be available on the STM website and through a third-party app called Transit. (Radio-Canada)

The new system will also be useful for drivers who work for the STM like Carole Lessard. She said she's looking forward to putting it to use.

"It's for the best if it can inform people on days like Wednesday, for example, where obviously everyone was delayed," said Lessard. 

"So if people could know what to expect, that would clearly be a good thing."​

​In January, another app, Chrono, will also have the STM's real time information as well. Chrono is run by the umbrella transit organization l'Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain.

The current STM app will be phased out. 

Sometime next year, other features will be added including the ability to track the location of buses on a map and obtain real-time schedules via text message.

The STM data will also be made available to other developers, Schnobb said.

With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak and Radio-Canada