We have covered TheBus on the blog before – Riding TheBus On Oahu – however, there was something that we had missed about TheBus. They have their own app that will allow you to see what busses are going to be arriving to your location in the next few minutes, look up routes, and figure out what bus goes where.
As their trailer for the Android version says, there’s only one name for the O’ahu bus app – DaBus, and, yes, it is available for both iPhone and Android.
How it works is really simple; when you open the app, you’re brought to the search page, where you can either search for a specific bus stop (or stop number, which is on the small yellow sign under the bus stop sign), or you can do what is easiest with a smart phone – search for the stops nearest you.
When you search by location, you’re brought to this screen that shows the nearby stops to you (just a note, you may have to hit the refresh button in the top right in order for your location to show up, sometimes it doesn’t get the location right at first, putting you at 0,0, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean).
When your location is found, you will get a blue pin marking you, and a red pin marking the nearest stop/s to you:
In this case, the only stop that registered was number 4349, Kalakaua & Uluniu.
Tapping on the blue arrow will give you a list of the upcoming arrivals at that particular stop, and also allow you to add that particular stop to your favorite list, which is nice so that you don’t have to keep looking up that particular stop number or look for the sign with it on:
In this case, the next bus to arrive is the #22 TheBeachBus, heading for Hanauma, and is scheduled to arrive at my stop in about 7 minutes. What’s neat, and not something I realized until watching the how-to videos on the app, is that when you tap on the alarm, you can set an alarm to go off 5, 10, and/or 15 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival of the bus at your location
Another neat feature is looking up where a bus is or where it is going if you know the route number, i.e. the two that I have listed here are the 8, which goes exclusively between Ala Moana and the beaches and hotels at Waikiki, and the 2, which goes to a number of different locations around Honolulu, including the Kapiolani Community College – where the KCC farmer’s market is held on Saturdays.
When you select a route, there is another icon that shows up which will tell you exactly which stops are serviced by a particular route, and you can even preview the route that the bus will take.
One last thing to note is the Favorites page – on here, you can store your favorite stops, or ones that you use frequently. I only saved two of them, and one of them I never really used, as I had marked the eastbound stop at Ala Moana Blvd & Ala Moana Center as a favorite and not eastbound stop on the north side of the mall as my favorite.
This tool was something that was indispensable to us while on O’ahu, and it is something that is highly recommended. Just remember that if you are from out of the USA, this does require internet access to use, and if you do not have a US cellphone provider, or ready access to wifi, costs may be incurred by your phone provider, and those can be very dear.