Using Timetables

How to read a bus or train timetable - Many students tell us that they get confused when having to work out how to read a bus or train timetable.  

This example is designed to help you understand the basic principles.  It is a made up example but it should cover the basics. 

  1.  Find the place you are leaving from, for example 'Newtown'.
  2. Go along that line and find the time that fits in with your planned departure time.
  3. Go down the column until you find your destination.  The time in this box will be your arrival time.

So, if you want to travel from Newtown to Tumbletown leaving at approximately 10.30am you’ll find that a bus leaves at 10.31.  It is scheduled to arrive at 11.20.


Remember these handy hints

  • Make sure you check that the train or bus you’re getting on is the one you want.  It may be going somewhere else or in a different direction.  Most buses will have a number on the front which will correspond with the timetable.
  • Timetables generally use the 24 hr clock so 3.15 in the afternoon would be 15.15 on the timetable.
  • Be aware of codes used on timetables.  They can indicate whether times are different on weekends or public holidays.  In this example NS may mean “Not on a Saturday”
  • Make sure you are at the right bus stop.  Not all buses use every stop.
  • When you see your bus coming towards you, make sure the driver knows that you wish to get on.  You may need to raise a hand.
  • If you’re already on the bus and need to get off you’ll need to press a button to let the driver know he has to stop.
  • Practice reading timetables and catching busses on the mainland before you go to college.
  • Try and have some loose change available when buying your ticket as you don’t always get change back.
  • If in doubt ask for help!