When you visit our website, you’ll notice a star in the top right corner of the screen. Just click on it to enter a new space for your favourites on the website.

Find a bus stop, add it to your favourites, select bus routes, get live arrivals

Save bus stop in the 4 steps shown here: 1) Find a bus stop  2) Add it to your favourites  3) Select bus routes  4) Get live arrivals


You can save your frequently used forms of transport (Buses, tube lines, trams, roads, river buses and Emirates Air Line) to access the status of your chosen services quickly and easily. Your choices will be saved in the new panel and the home page will be personalised to reflect them. When there is disruption on the network, this information will be prioritised to help you plan your journey.

You can save your bus stops to get live arrivals information and check arrival times on the go. To set this up, first find the bus stop you want to add to your favourites, then select a route that goes to that stop and you’re ready to go. It will appear on the home page with live arrivals and in the favourites panel.

These features are designed to give a great experience on mobile, tablet and desktop. Your favourites are saved in the web browser, so if you use more than one device, you’ll need to set your favourites on each one.

Why have we done it?

Through research we know that you are looking for personalised information on the website. We’ve responded by allowing you to tailor your services, so that you can travel with greater efficiency and ease.

Personalisation

Personalisation options are now available on the TfL website – just click the star in the top right corner to get started

What’s coming next?

We know that you want to save your places and journeys for quick planning and we’re working on these enhancements right now.

This is a first step towards providing you with a personalised service on our website, and your feedback is important to us. While we are in the initial phase of testing, we would love you to try these new features and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Posted by Charul Gupta

Charul is Digital Product Manager for Plan & Travel at TfL Online.

49 Comments

  1. Great job by the personalisation team 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Your new website is probably great on an Android tablet or a Windows 10 PC but it is a disaster on my work Blackberry. Unfortunately I am stuck with that but use it all the time to check bus arrivals while travelling. The old, largely text countdown site works really well but it seems that it will be turned off next month.

    Even on a modern phone I can see problems with all the extra data to download as much of Greater London seems to have vast holes in its 3G coverage – especially when you are on a bus or train. Please keep the old mobile bus countdown website running for those of us who need the service even in the many London locations where mobile data is still in the stone age and/or lack the latest gizmos.

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    1. Hi Misar, thanks for your feedback, we will have another look at how this functionality works on Blackberry devices. We did test on multiple devices before we put this live, and our choice was informed by the analytics insights we have into our website usage. We tested the new features on the most commonly used devices and browsers. 

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  3. CORRECTION TO THE PREVIOUS REPLY: I am having problems with setting up my bus stop favourites on my HTC phone. I do not understand why there is a need for all this new data if the basics cannot be accomplished. Why is it necessary for these website changes to occur every few years when it is not warranted, just because you can add something doesn’t mean you should . I actually disagree with you that the general consensus is that people want all of this stuff, if the basics cannot be catered for and feel it is more a case of you justifying some budget. I would like to know how I can revert back to the old changes on my phone.

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    1. @1heriman Thanks for your feedback. We’ll have another look at how this works on HTC devices. Is there a specific problem you are having on your device that you could provide us with details of please?

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  4. I tried to set this up yesterday given the impending closure of the excellent old style Countdown webpage. I have several stops set as “My Stops” on the old page. That gives me a nice clear overview and I can rearrange the sequence of stops. Could I replicate this on your new “Favourites” page? No I can’t.

    There seems to be a “cap” on the number of Favourite stops that are shown on the TfL front page. This is a step backwards compared to the old site (although I accept there was a limit of the number of “My Stops”).

    If you select several routes at one stop and this particular stop is somewhat down the list of Favourites then the system defaults to showing one route only. You then forced to go to that stop separately or to display the “My Buses” list in totality. This seems to be a case of design overtaking what the user wants.

    In the old Countdown page it is possible to rearrange the sequence of “My Stops” so you can choose what is shown first. This is useful. It isn’t replicated in the new Favourites function for some reason.

    I’ve only used this on a laptop and not a smartphone (I rarely use mine so I accept I’m not “typical”). I would much prefer the ability to set up a brower based Favourite url that would allow the “My Buses” list to be displayed as a page in its own right rather than something that sneaks in from the right hand side of the page and which then needs careful scrolling to avoid inadvertently making the “page” disappear again!

    Do you ever bother to test these designs with real world users? It seems the policy is to put something “out there” and then wait for reaction? I only found this article my accident and I suspect many passengers have no idea that there is such a thing as your Digital Blog in which feedback can be given.

    Finally there is a data glitch in the main TfL website. I use route W11 which starts at Walthamstow Bus Station. It used to depart from stop E (code 76402) but moved to D (code 74591) a few months ago. This is correctly shown in the old Countdown site. Unfortunately the W11 is listed against 76402 on “Stops and Stations” but no departures are shown. The departures are, instead, sometimes shown on 74591 but is not in the list of routes for that stop. W11 buses are only sometimes shown for 74591 – managed to see them yesterday but not there today! This means it is impossible to set up the W11 as a Favourite for Walthamstow Bus Station departures because the route does not appear in the list for the stop the route departs from. It would be good if someone could fix this please!

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  5. I’ve just tried the updated Countdown. It seems somewhat overcomplex and cluttered with information I don’t need in comparison with the current straightforward display, and as noted by misar takes far longer to load. Why can’t you leave it alone?

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  6. Hi I agree with Misar below – I use a fairly up to date Blackberry (9500) but it can’t run the fancy TFL bus arrivals site – but the countdown one (countdown.tfl.gov.uk) worked very well, so please don’t discontinue it. Whoever makes decisions about TFL website must assume everyone has an iPhone or something. There are good reasons not to have the latest phone (among other things I wouldn’t stop looking at it). Plenty of people don’t have iPhones.

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    1. however bad the oversight of BB, the site doesn’t load well on iPhones and Android either.

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  7. We know there are some issues when adding bus stop favourites and we are working on improving the experience. In light of the feedback we’ve received, we will publish another blog post in the next week with more details explaining the decisions we’ve made around the old buses countdown feature and addressing the issues that have been raised.

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  8. Nice to see my earlier comments were not lost. I thought they’d been lost or binned.

    Can I just add that I tried to use the new website features, especially Favourites, on my fairly old HTC Incredible S mobile phone and it was a complete shambles. Stop selection would not transfer properly to the Favourites list. The Favourites list would not display properly when scrolling in from the right hand side. Only small red boxes with no text appeared making it impossible to select the routes for a given stop. It was also not possible to tell which stop had been added to the Favourites list as no details appeared. In the end I gave up thinking my oldish phone was at fault. Other apps which use the TfL API work fine although obviously you’re deploying website functionality.

    One other comment about Favourites in general. I note that if you select more than one rail / tube line that these then get combined into a single line with thin colour strips. These strips display no line name text. For those of us with colour blindness squashing colours close together with no name text makes the info almost useless. I’d have hoped TfL might have thought about that issue as part of their standard design criteria for people with visual impairment.

    Hope that feedback helps.

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    1. Hi PC, thanks for the time and effort you’ve put in to share the detailed feedback. Web accessibility is very important for us and we would definitely look into your findings. We have series of improvements planned over the next few months and your feedback is really helpful.

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    2. Exactly the same problem on my HTC – just red squares with no data. Getting fed up with having to search from scratch every time.

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  9. […] recently introduced favourites feature on our website, as described in my previous post. These features allow you to save your bus stops and get live arrival […]

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  10. Hi,

    For this website to build it needs 6 stylesheets for the main page (2200 lines of HTML code), 21 external javascripts (some fairly hefty), 18 images and 3 fonts (?!). I stopped counting there because there are also numerous frames with their own javascript, images etc…
    The old page that loaded in no time has 100 lines of HTML code, 3 external javascripts and two lightweight images built for mobiles.

    Whoever built this, didn’t have mobile devices in mind and didn’t realise that sometimes we have to make a snap decision whether we go for the bus that is in sight and will drop us off 10 minute walk from home, or wait for the next bus which drops us off at home.

    The feature that allows you to save your favourite stops existed in the old site as well. I don’t mind that the URL is the same URL as for the main page, really I don’t. But I do mind that I have to wait nearly 20 seconds on a broadband line to load this, what happens if my connection isn’t that great because everyone in the area is using their mobiles?

    I don’t think anyone can be happy with the new features unless that page is slimmed down massively.

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    1. Thanks Mike for the detailed feedback. Really helpful. While we appreciate that two sites are not identical and some customers prefer aspects of countdown.tfl.gov.uk, we are looking into making improvements to tfl.gov.uk. We have tested the performance of new features on different networks already, but would look into it again given the feedback.

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  11. Paul Hilleard May 26, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    I have been trying out the new service and comparing it to the old but it still giving out different and more importantly incorrect information compared to accurate information that is given on http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk/. I have previously reported this to Phil Young via the TfL Digital Blog and he said “it was critical that the service represents ‘real world’ conditions. To this end we continue to work to remove any latency which might exist” but it appears that there is still latency between the two feeds. Can you explain why the existing service that actually gives out accurate information is being withdrawn before the new service is actually giving accurate information?

    I have tried out the new service again yesterday morning and the new service is still not accurately predicting ‘real world’ conditions. The problem still appears to be due to time taken to load all of the information that is now shown rather than just the basic information the the old service provides and by the time all of this happens the information is 1-2 mins out of date compared to the accurate information shown on http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk/.

    The new service is also showing closed bus stops as still being in use and continuing to predict arrival times even though the stop is not in use, whereas http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk is correctly showing the stop as being closed and not being served and not showing any predictions. http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk/ shows notices where there is a problem with the stop/route whereas there doesn’t appear to be any indication of there being a problem on the new system without separately searching the Status Updates section. Why is the new system not, at the very least, providing some indication that there is an issue with the stop/route?

    At least twice yesterday, I have tried accessing ‘My Buses’ only to find that none were there only for them to reappear later in the day. Why is this happening?

    Also, certain buses were completely missing from the new service yesterday whereas they were showing up on http://countdown.tfl.gov.uk.

    All in all the new system is not fit for purpose and the withdrawal of the existing system should be stopped until these problems are fixed.

    I can provide you screen shots of these issues if you would like to see them.

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    1. Hi Paul, thanks for the detailed feedback. As mentioned earlier, it is extremely important for us that our service represents real world and your findings are really helpful. Though I can assure we are looking into most of the issues you’ve surfaced, it would be interesting to know which buses you found missing?

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  12. Typical of TfL, a tool that works perfectly well with no elaborate bells and whistles is binned in favour of something that regular users do not want. Did you ask any real users if they wanted these changes? I can understand that tourists might find the map useful, but regular users don’t need this, we know where our stops are and this just gobbles up more data unnecessarily. If you are committed to this change can you at least find a way of offering the ability to hide the map just like the old site did?

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    1. Hi Scobie, really helpful feedback. We have series of improvements planned for the new features in future and would surely consider your feedback. It would be helpful to know if you access the website mostly using mobile or desktop?

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      1. Hi Charul, I only access the site on a mobile, mostly iPhone, occasionally iPad. Glad to hear you will consider my feedback, but would be interested to know if you did consult any real users before making these changes. Can’t imagine anyone would actually want something that takes longer to load and moves away from the pure simplicity of the old site.

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      2. Hi Scobie, every feedback is important for us. As mentioned in the blog, the two services were offering similar functionality and hence, it was decided to close one. Our website tfl.gov.uk is multimodal, so it made more sense to keep that running. I do appreciate that you preferred countdown and we are making improvements to tfl.gov.uk to make it as good as the old countdown website. We do user testing with real users before making any changes. We also collect a lot of feedback through website surveys, social media and through emails. As mentioned, feedback is really important for us as it helps us improve the existing proposition.

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  13. It’s overly complicated with too much information even just trying it on my Mac (let alone what my ancient Android phone will make of it). I simply want the basic bus info if I’m stood at a bus stop and the old site was perfect.

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    1. Hi Karen, Sorry to hear that you find it overcomplicated. Is there a specific problem you are having and if you could provide us with details please?

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  14. Not loving the new service. I’ve tried using current location but have yet to have any success with it no which part of West London I am.

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    1. Hi Vivella, it would be helpful to understand what specific issue did you face when using current location?

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  15. Hi Charul, it took my a while to track down this blog to leave some feedback. Why are u guys hiding…?

    I’m all for progress but I don’t take too kindly to being forced to use something that doesn’t work. Generally, before pushing out something that is so radically different a beta version gets an airing first.

    I find the new live arrivals slow and unworkable. I tried to add my stops to
    the favourites but all I see are a column of black and red boxes.

    The search box is to the bottom of a screen full of data which I don’t need.

    Bring back a text only option, which can upload quickly when u are on the move in an area with poor signal coverage.

    I’m using a Samsung galaxy 3, relatively new. So something is not right. I need this type of service, so it looks like I’ll b downloading an app.

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    1. Hi Ali, we are working on making the pages lighter and also working on an option to have your buses arrivals on a lighter page. Hopefully that will make your experience better.

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  16. The Bus Countdown application on my TfL work Blackberry is now completely unusable on the new web site application. Even in the office or at home when I am connected to the web rather than the 3G network it system simply times out and I am unable to get any real time bus information. I have also tried going via the star symbol, but that times out before I can load any bus stop information. Glancing through the list of comments this seems to be a common theme. If we are increasingly reliant on mobile phone apps etc. to obtain status updates about the network they do need to perform. Not everyone has the most up to date 4G phones these systems need to work for all, its a real shame they don’t.

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    1. Hi Michael, you might want to have a look at this new blog which talks about the improvements we’ve made lately

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  17. Susan Richards June 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    I really liked your old App on my mobile – which allowed me to add My Favourite bus stops very easily. This new one will not let me get beyond Step 2. Having found my bus stop (as in Step One above) I move to Step Two but when I then click on the blue star and text that states ‘add favourites’ – nothing happens. I have tried countless times to get beyond this Step but all I succeed in doing is getting back to the black page that states Add Favourites for quick access to live status’ with a list of lines, buses, roads etc below.

    What can you suggest?

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    1. Hi Susan, this shouldn’t happen. Can you let me know any bus stop that you were searching/adding and I’ll have a look if there is an issue at our end.

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      1. Susan Richards June 15, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        I have tried putting in all of the following: Solent Road C11 towards Cricklewood; Solent Road C11 towards Swiss Cottage; West Hampstead station towards Golders Green (139 328) Finchley Road C11 towards Cricklewood and several others. I have been able to enter all of these on my PC – but the App simply will not work on my mobile – whereas the old App worked perfectly.
        I have just tried again and I see that the words ‘Add Favourites’ on the right hand side of the star (that comes up when I have reached the stage where the C11 options are on the screen) appear to overlap slightly with the star – perhaps suggesting that there is some corruption in the App. I have tried uninstalling and re-installing several times but without success.

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      2. Hi Susan, which device are you using? We will try and replicate the scenario at our end.

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      3. I am using an Alcatel Idol 3 phone . I have found a way round the problem by not using the App at all and going directly into the Tfl website, where I have neen able to save my favourite bus stops – then transferring the link to the home page on my phone! However, it would be much better to be able to use the App like I used to do. There must be a basic incompatibility somewhere as I have been able to use the new App successfully on my tablet.

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      4. Great to know! That’s exactly you need to do now to save your favourites.

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  18. I’m glad to see other comments on the extra HTML / CSS / javascript load – slows things down quite a bit on an iPhone. I understand the need to consolidate and the technical challenges to make this compatible across all platforms but I still think there’s a need for a faster loading ‘light’ version. Not everyone is using the latest / fastest technology or OS levels.

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    1. Hi Paul, we are already working on improving the website, thus making it lighter to load. You can check this latest blog to read about the improvements we’ve already made and keep watching this space for more information as we progress.

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  19. Please provide estimates of when response speeds of this replacement is going to be fixed. It is simply unfit for purpose. No wonder you are loosing users.
    Can the problems detailed in this blog be escalated as a service affecting fault? I not convinced it is getting the visibility it needs.
    It is beyond me how this was ever released to users as a replacement for the m.countdown service.
    To illustrate the point here are some response times from my Blackberry using a 3G cell signal.

    Time to load Live Bus Arrivals page on the tfl.gov.uk/modes/buses page: 1 min 20sec
    Time to load the favourites page (ie selecting the star on the above page): 20sec. (for it to be fully scrollable).

    All I’m seeing on this Blog is requests for further information and thanks for feedback. No material progess in fixing the same issues that people keep reporting.

    This very frustrating. Have non app users been abandoned by TFL?

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    1. Hi Graham, you might want to have a look at this new blog which talks about improvements we’ve made lately.

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  20. Hi Charul, I save all my favourites on your website and it works well. But every now and then they are lost for no apparent reason. Any idea why?
    Windows 7 on a Lenovo desk top. Thanks, Clive

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    1. Hi Clive, your favourites are stored in local storage for now. So, if you clear your local storage your saved choices would be lost and you’ll have to add them again.

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  21. Once I have clicked the blue star for the bus route and another one for the stop needed, how do I then access this favourite?

    I am using an iPhone.

    In general this new site is needlessly complicated and you should allow people to still use the old one.

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    1. Hi Ben, After clicking the blue star you might have landed in a panel that would ask you to choose the routes you want to save. Once you save these, your buses live arrivals appear in the panel, home page and on buses landing page.

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  22. I notice their is now supposedly an option to favourite journeys on the TfL Journey Planner on your website. However it’s not currently possible. There is no button/option to favourite the journey: the user is simply sent on an endless loop of links.

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    1. Hi, Yes you can save your journeys. When you plan a journey, you land on Journey results page. If you have a look, you’ll see ‘Add favourites’ link in the header. If you click that, your favourites panel would open giving an option for you to save journeys.

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  23. I am unable to scroll down my favourited buses list any more. This is only recently but is very annoying as I can’t edit any or pick a favorite.

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    1. Are you using Samsung device?

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  24. […] introduced a new feature on our website that allows you to save your favourites, as described in this blog post from April. The favourites feature allows you to save your bus stops in order to to get live arrivals […]

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