Alex Dalland

The NSW government has now made Opal data available to commuters to allow them to see which buses are busiest – meaning that they have the choice to avoid full buses at peak times in advance.

“This is yet another way that Opal data can be practical for everyone,” Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said in a recent statement.

“This will show users whether their bus is empty, has seating or is crowded.”

“While the app won’t create more seats, it will give people more choice,” he added, promising more services are on the way, with the government investing $100 million in bus services for the coming year.

If you’re a regular commuter but you’re not sure whether you are getting enough information to prepare you for the best possible trip, Sydney Observer looks at a couple of your best options.


As of today, NextThere is the first travel app to use the government’s Opal data to display how full buses are in real time. It shows you where your bus or train is, and which routes might get you to your destination most efficiently. It can also be used with an Apple Watch but is only available for iPhone. It is free with ads and also operates on a paid subscription service.


TripGo lets you combine any modes of transport, including walking as well as taxi or car journeys – showing you fare prices, journey times and live travel and delay information. Environmental impact of your journey can also be calculated, allowing you to choose greener methods of transport. Unlike some other apps, all major Australian cities are covered – meaning if you travel frequently, this app might be particularly useful.


TransitApp works much like TripGo in allowing the user to plan their journey in real time using all available public transport services, as well as showing disruptions in real time. While it doesn’t calculate extra travel time such as walking, the user can also request an Uber service from within the app, meaning that you always have the quickest option covered.

For more information on real-time transport apps and the many other app options available in Sydney, visit