If you’re looking for an easy way to get around China, taking a bus would be the last thing that comes to my mind. However, with this newly developed app, I have to say that it’s rather fantastic because it allows you to locate nearly all bus routes directly from your mobile phone.
PandaBus is available to iOS and Android for FREE. This little app supports English and Chinese with all the bus routes in China, not just Tianjin. There are a few routes currently missing, but given the fact that this app is still coming along and being developed and updated daily (even at the time when I’m writing now) I’m sure it won’t be long until all the buses and routes be added.
How Does the App Work?
Once you download the app (www.pandabus.cn) and swipe through a few welcome pages (which look very artsy) , you will see the main page. From here, you should see your current location. If you don’t. please make sure you have your GPS on. Now you can search for the closest bus stops near by, (it has found ALL 20 bus stops closest to where I live, fantastic)!!
You can see bus numbers and the complete bus route. From here you can follow where the bus goes, how far they travel and bus times. All the buses and routes are colored coded to make things even easier and it looks good too.
How to Search?
If you’re looking for a specific route in Tianjin, you will need to enter the Chinese Address. Currently there is no English input option, even though the App supports English menus. So unless you know Chinese or are able to copy and paste the Chinese address from other source, you will be out of luck…. But wait there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
If you know the bus number, just type that number in and watch the app do its magic. You will be able to see the bus information and route quickly and easily.
- Users can check real-time location and arrival time data
- Allows you to plan your trip, no longer needing to worry about waiting for the bus.
- Panda Dalian transit buses currently provides real-time data (not all cities are covered in real-time)
The Panda Bus App, has a great and very-easy-to-use design, it even allows those who can not speak or even use Chinese to use it with ease. Using the route planner, you can easily find which bus to take from either your current location or somewhere else, and select your destination.
The map design allows you to select any point on the map and then select a destination point. The app will then do all the hard work and plan your bus route, showing you all the buses available for your selected route including if you need to change buses at any point. With the easy and clean design and the mapping (zoom in and out) features, this app has just made itself into the top 10 things an expat living in China must have.
Planning your journey
- You can start your journey by choosing the journey planner within the app. This allows you to select either your current location or any location you’d like. This is great as you don’t need any knowledge of Chinese, you just need to know the general area on a map.
- Once you have chosen your current location, you should see a little message bubble pop up with a little green arrow (same as the 5th screen above) click this little green arrow to save your location.
- This will now save your current location, now do the same for the “end”. This is where you need to choose where you’d like to go. This may take a while depending on how far you will travel, as you may need to scroll on the map for a while, but once you have found your destination, place the little blue man you have been moving around, and again the little bubble will appear, then press the green arrow to save your end route.
- Once you have done this the app will give you all the best possible bus numbers for you to choose from. If you select a bus number, that bus route will show on the map. It will also show you visually where you need to go to take the bus and where the bus stops.
It’s really simple, isn’t it?
Follow the Steps Here
This app is truly fantastic and actually makes me want to take the bus. It has more information than the bus bureau and Tianjin travel information center and it’s more convenient than carrying around the bus route table chart. The only downside is there is currently no English input support, so for example if you want to go to “Old Culture Street” you will need to know the name in Chinese.
What’s more, if you are in a location where you need to get the bus number or would like to know which buses run through, just open the PandaBus App and search from your current location. The app will find all available bus routes in your current area.
Best thing is that, their website is clean, fresh and extremely different than nearly 90% of other Asian made websites.