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Real time bus information

Bus real time is the live time of the next bus. This can be shown on:

  • electronic displays at the bus stop
  • the internet
  • smartphones.

How does it work?

A transmitter on the bus sends a signal that is tracked by satellite to pinpoint the location of the bus. This information is then sent back to the real time system which predicts how many minutes away the bus is from the bus stop.

You can also check when your bus will be at your bus stop by using the internet or mobile internet.

How to tell which buses are showing 'real time' information

If the display shows a message like this:

11   City Loop    6 mins

then that is a real time prediction for service 11. The bus is predicted to arrive in six minutes.

If the display shows a message like this:

90   Friar Lane    11:13

then that is the scheduled time at that stop on the printed timetable for the service 90.

Bus services currently operating using real time

Real time information is now available in Nottinghamshire on most Nottingham City Transport and Trent Barton buses as they are already fitted with tracking equipment. 

Other bus operators will be able to provide real time information when they fit the necessary equipment to their buses. 

It is hoped that Stagecoach will have this equipment fitted and will be transmitting real time information by the end of 2016.

Accessing real time information

At the bus stop

Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council has installed displays in:

  • Nottingham City
  • Greater Nottingham
  • Ashfield
  • Broxtowe
  • Gedling
  • Mansfield
  • Rushcliffe.

The council’s own and maintain over 1500 electronic displays and plan to install more as part of a rolling programme.


You can find real time information on the Traveline website.

Click on the icon of a bus with a clock at the top of the "plan your journey" box to look up live departures for any bus or tram in the UK. The times shown will be for today.

A red icon will tell you that the information about times has come live from the bus or tram.

If you see the time in blue without the icon then you are seeing the timetable time. This is likely to be because there are no buses giving live updates in that area, or it could be that the live bus times aren't working on that bus.

You can also find real time by visiting local bus operator websites:

Text message

To find out the real time of the service you want to use you'll first need to find out the SMS code of the bus stop you'll be catching the bus from.

The SMS code will be an 8 letter code starting with nts, for example ntsadapa.

Text the SMS code to 84268. (Text cost is your normal message charge plus up to 25p for the reply.)

You will receive a text back with the next three departures from your chosen stop.

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