The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Viewpoints: NextBus is the superior bus app

Every student at Carolina is well aware of the need for buses on campus. Our 729-acre campus is something quite beautiful, but Carolina’s size also means that walking around campus is no small feat. As a result, many students and faculty turn to the buses serving the Chapel Hill area to help ease university life, myself included. 

In order to use the buses on or around campus, we need certain apps that let us check when the buses will arrive. People often boast as to which apps they claim to be the most helpful. Two apps in particular have surfaced as the most popular: NextBus and TransLoc Rider. I am writing to prove that NextBus is the most superior bus app available to members of the Carolina community.

For the purpose of this piece, I only used Rider this week instead of the usual NextBus. This ensured I had a more complete understanding of the rival app and all its functions.

To open my support for NextBus, this app most accurately describes when buses will arrive. As a first year living on South Campus, it is imperative I know exactly when the bus will stop outside of Hinton James Residence Hall. I have discovered the optimal time to maximize sleep and still catch a bus to North Campus. NextBus updates within seconds and provides time estimates for the next two stops at your location. Rider has similar features, but in my experience, Rider’s time estimates change suddenly and are often incorrect, making for some last-minute rushing to my 9 a.m. English class.

Additionally, the NextBus interface is easier to use than Rider's. The NextBus app takes you directly to your preferred routes; for many students at Carolina, these are the RU and the U routes. In Rider, one needs to indicate which routes they want to use at the beginning of each use in the app. 

In addition, the NextBus app is not inundated with unnecessary information like Rider is. While it may be interesting to get a street view of a bus or plan trips, the reality is most students just need to know when the bus is coming. NextBus provides a simple answer and no complicated distractions or add-ons. 

NextBus is an easy and efficient tool for all to use. Its simplicity and effectiveness are everything a bus app should be. Rider, on the other hand, is overrun with distracting and unnecessary elements. I understand that those who use Rider may be hesitant toward using NextBus, however I encourage everyone to try NextBus. Once you try it, I doubt you will go back. 

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Black History Month Edition

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive