Searching by location

If you don't know which bus service you need, you can search by location, either by entering the start and end points into a form, or directly selecting them on a map. Find out how.

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Searching by number

If you know the bus service number, you can quickly find the timetable to download and see a map of the route and bus stops. Just enter the number into the form on the Search by service number page:

Search by number

 

This will show you the places served and route map depending on the day of the week selected.

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Finding direct buses between 2 points (with no changes)

Enter a start and end point to find buses that directly connect these two locations

You can enter a location in one of 4 ways:

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Typing a location, postcode or address

Place - typing a location, postcode or address

  • Click the Place tab
  • Type your start location in the box below
  • Select a location from the list
  • If you are on a tablet or desktop, your start location will appear on the map as a green Start point or red End point marker
Start point on map
End point on map

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Selecting a Metrolink stop, train or bus station

Entering a station or stop as the start location

  • Click the Station/Stop tab
  • Type the name of a bus or train station or tram stop in the box below
  • Select a station or stop from the list
  • If you are on a tablet or desktop, your start location will appear on the map as a green Start point or red End point marker

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Using your current location

Using your current location

  • Click the My location tab
  • Your browser will try to find your location. You may need to turn on GPS or allow the browser to use your location.
  • If the location is available, it will appear below, in green
  • If you are on a tablet or desktop, your location will appear on the map as a green Start point or red End point marker

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Selecting points on the map (tablet/desktop only)

Set start location on map

  • Right-click or double tap your start point on the map
  • Select Set start location from the menu as shown
  • Your start point will appear under the Place tab above
  • The green Start point or red End point marker will appear on the map

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Finding all buses from a single point ("Anywhere" search)

Set 'To' location to 'Anywhere'

  • Select where you're going from, for example your home address
  • Under Where do you want to go to?, click the Anywhere tab
  • Your search will now find all the buses that leave your nearest bus stop, wherever they go

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Journey time settings - what does this do?

Setting the time and day options

  • Here you can set what day and time you want your bus to leave or arrive.
  • This will narrow the search results to show only the buses that leave or arrive at the time of your choice
  • You can select any day of the week, or Bank Holiday
  • To see all the buses on any day, set the time to Any time

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Bus stop distance setting - what is this for?

Select a distance

  • This setting will narrow your search down to the closest bus stops at both ends of your journey
  • To show as many buses as possible, set this to the maximum (1km)
  • To find buses with the least distance to walk, set this to the minimum (100m)
  • The distance will automatically update if no buses are found (up to the maximum)

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Showing all results on the map (tablet and desktop only)

Show all results on the map

  • If you are using a tablet or desktop, you can select this option to immediately show all the routes of your search result on the map
  • You can change your view option later between List view and Map view if you wish

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Editing a search

Edit search button

  • To edit the details of a search, click the Edit search button
  • Alternatively, you can start again by clicking New search

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Switching start and end points

Switch start and end points button

To find buses in the other direction (for example, on the return journey), use the Switch button to swap the start and end points

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Advanced search: Finding connecting buses between 2 points

Whilst Route Explorer cannot currently automatically identify inter-connecting bus services to get you to where you want to go, here is a tip on how to use the Route Explorer, in an advanced way, to get you the information you want:

  • Select where you're going from, for example your home address
  • Under Where do you want to go to?, click the Anywhere tab
  • Tick the box which says ‘Show all results on the map’
  • Your search will find all the buses that leave your nearest bus stops, wherever they go, and a helpful map showing where these buses go to
  • Now open up a new window or tab in your browser and start a new instance of route explorer by typing www.tfgm.com/route-explorer in the address bar
  • Select where you’re going to, for example a shopping centre
  • Under Where do you want to go from?, click the Anywhere tab
  • Tick the box which says ‘Show all results on the map’
  • Your new search will find all the buses that arrive at the nearest bus stops to your destination, wherever they come from, and a helpful map showing where these buses have come from
  • Now the fun bit – look at both maps; the one you generated from the first search, and the new one you generated in the second search in the new window/tab
  • See if you can spot where a service departing your home appears to connect with a service going to the shopping centre
  • If you find one, then click on the route details and download the timetables, to identify which stops to get off and onto, how to walk between the stops, and what connection time between the two services you can expect

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Filtering the list by bus operator

Filter by operator

  • If you have a bus pass for a particular bus operator or group of operators, you can show only these buses in the list by selecting the company in the Filter by operator list
  • The filter will also show only these bus routes on the map (tablet and desktop only)

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Sorting the list by number or frequency

Sort by frequency

  • If you know the number of the bus you want, you can find it easily by sorting by number
  • The list is sorted by frequency by default
  • Frequency is based on the number of buses in the day
  • Frequency is shown in the list and on the map using colour, from pink (high) to lime green (low)
    Frequency colour key - high to low

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List view and Map view (tablet and desktop only)

List and map view toggle

  • If you're on a tablet or desktop, you can quickly switch between Map view and List view with the button below the search box
  • Map view enables you to see all routes on the map at the same time and compare them by highlighting one at a time
  • On a mobile phone you can view individual routes only

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Highlighting a route on the map (tablet and desktop only)

Service in Map view - click the arrow to highlight the route on the mapMap view - service in list
Service highlighted in list - click the plus to select the service and show more detailMap view - service highlighted in list

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Selecting a service

Click a service in the list to expand it and show more information.

The way this information is displayed depends whether you are on a mobile phone or tablet/desktop.

Selected service details with Places served

 

If you are in Map view, you will see the extra information in the right-hand panel.

Panel tabs

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Detailed frequency information

Detailed frequency info

  • The service details will show you the approximate frequency of the selected service within the hour you selected, eg. "Approx every 15 mins"
  • To find out exactly when the bus stops, open the PDF timetable (in a new window)

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Viewing a timetable

Viewing a timetable

  • Click the View timetable button to open the PDF timetable
  • It will open in a new window or tab, if your browser supports PDF viewing, or in your usual PDF viewer application
  • You can also save the timetable PDF for future reference

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Distance from stop

Distance from stop

  • The service details show you how far it is to your nearest boarding stop for this service and how close the bus will get you to your destination
  • You can also view how close they are on the map by clicking the Start stop or End stop tabs
  • Distances are straight line measurements

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Viewing the route map

On a mobile phone:

  • Click the View route map button to open the map of the bus service route between your start and end locations
  • To return to the list of services, close click the X button in the top right corner of the modal window

On a tablet or desktop

  • In List view, click the View map button to open the route map in a panel on the right
  • In Map view, click the Route map tab in the panel on the right

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Where to get on and off the bus?

Start stop with info window

  • On a mobile phone, select a service and click the Where to get on the bus button to open the map in a modal window
  • On a tablet or desktop, make sure you are in Map view and have selected a bus service
  • Click the Start stop tab to zoom the map to the bus stop nearest your start location
  • An info window will open showing you more detail on the bus stop including a list of services that stop there
  • You can get information on any bus stop on the map by clicking its icon
  • Click the Street View button to see where the bus is located and what facilities there are (eg. shelter)

Start stop with info window

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Showing Metrolink, train and bus stations on the map

List and map view toggle

  • Open the Map options box if necessary
  • Turn on markers for bus interchanges, Metrolink stops and train stations to help find connections with other modes of transport
  • Bus stops along the route can also be turned on and off
  • You can get information on all stops and stations by clicking on the markers

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Comparing services in Map view (tablet and desktop only)

You can easily compare services in Map view.

For example, to compare services based on the distance to the start bus stop

  • select a service in the list
  • click the Start stop tab in the right panel
  • select different services in the list to compare

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