Public Transport: Planning a Journey

Public Transport: Planning a Journey

Planning a journey by public transport has never been easier. In addition to more old school timetables and maps, online journey planning tools and apps allow you to easily identify where to travel from and to, at what time, and on what service.

Online Journey Planners

Online tools are a really easy option for planning your public transport journey. Generally, they offer live updates on services making them really useful when service options are changing, as they were through the CV19 pandemic! All you need to do is enter where you want to travel from and to and your preferred travel time. The journey planner will do the rest, and will even plan the walking route to your nearest stop.

There are a growing range of journey planning tools and website available, some of which cover the whole of the UK, whilst some focus upon specific areas, or particular transport options.

Google Maps has a really handy public transport journey planning feature which covers the whole of the UK. Plan your route from A to B and compare the options available by selecting the public transport icon.

You might also want to check out journey planning tools available in your local area. For example, WY Metro has a journey planning tool covering the whole of West Yorkshire, and TfL has a journey planning tool covering London. A quick search on Google should help find journey planners available where you live.


It’s a good idea to look at timetables if you aren’t sure exactly when you’ll be travelling but would like to know the frequency of services.

The easiest way to view timetables is often by visiting the website of the particular service operator. For example, all Arriva bus service timetables can be found on their website, whilst you will find all Stagecoach timetables on their website. It usually helps to know which service timetable you need, to help you locate the relevant timetable.


Apps are fast becoming the go to place for planning (and paying for) public transport journeys. Not only do they let you plan a journey between A and B, but they also show you the location of your bus in real time on a user friendly map. Gone are the days of waiting around at the stop waiting for your bus.

Make sure you’re making the most of the bus operator apps available now by checking out our handy guide.

Apps also provide a great way to plan a journey by train. In a similar way to bus apps, they allow you to easily plan a journey between any two stations, whilst also providing direct access to live updates, station information, booking facilities and much more. We’ve provided links to our favourite rail apps below.

Network Maps

Whilst most people now use a journey planning tool to plan a trip by public transport, network maps can also be really handy for working out your route. Most public transport operators have their own network maps available on their website, showing the route of their services. Whilst these tend to focus upon and cover a local area, National Rail have a number of network maps available which cover the national rail network.