This Philly developer created an app to make SEPTA wait times easier

This Philly developer created an app to make SEPTA wait times easier

Have you ever waited a million years for the bus?

While a solution to SEPTA’s weird schedules and delays has yet to be devised, an app created by a man in Philadelphia could make commuting a little less painful.

Software developer Cory Popp is behind Next to Arrive, a simplistic mobile app that tells you how many minutes the bus will arrive. The app is also available as a widget if you want the information clearly displayed on your home screen. Next To Arrive is available for free on the Apple App Store for all iPhone users.

Popp said she takes the bus with her kids every day and always tries to get them out the door.

“It’s just a fun thing I wanted to do really quickly so I could tell myself how many minutes we have until the next bus arrives,” he told “And I keep showing them, ‘Oh, it’s only six minutes, we better get out the door.’

Popp previously worked in video production for about a decade (you can check out some of his work), but about a year ago he decided it was time for a switch and started teaching himself software development. The application framework uses WidgetKit and is written in Swift. The app pulls real-time information and transit schedules from SEPTA’s public API. The same information allowed in other SEPTA-related projects, such as technologist Doug Muth’s Is SEPTA Fucked?

“A lot of it was a portfolio piece when I’m looking for a job,” Popp said. “Just something to show people, an example of what I can do, and an excuse to teach myself new skills.”

Phone screen.

The Next Arrival widget. (Courtesy photo)

Currently, the app only applies to bus routes and some trolleybuses. When you download the app, you can select the transport line you want and the stop you will board at. Next To Arrive displays how many minutes the next bus or trolley will arrive. iPhone users can set the app as a widget on their home screen to see at a glance how long it is until the next bus arrives.

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Popp said that in the future, he would like to be able to select more stops, so that, for example, he can see the waiting time for buses to and from work.

“It’s not a fortune teller, it just slips off the schedule that’s posted online, so it’s not live information,” he said. “But if you’re wondering, oh, when do I leave the house to catch the next bus?” This is a great use for that.”

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 Fellow at Report for America, The Groundtruth Project, an initiative that pairs young journalists with local news outlets. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.


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