If you’re living in China, it doesn’t take long for you to realize that you need to learn how to use public transportation. This guide will show you about locating the nearest bus stops to you using Baidu maps.
I also use this method for when I need to call a taxi. If I don’t know how to explain to the driver my location, by finding the nearest bus stop near you, you can have the driver pick you up there. This is makes it easy for the driver to find you requiring less or no Chinese communication with them at all.
First you will need to download the app from any of the major app stores in China:
Type in the pinyin “Baidu Ditu”. Download the app shown in the picture, (微信).
This tutorial’s screenshots will be based on the UI from the Android app, the method should be the exact same for IOS or other operating systems. Some UI changes might occur due to app updates over time.
The home screen has a lot of things going on. We are just going to focus on what you need to know for finding the nearest bus stop. The blue dot is your real-time location.
At the top of the map is the search bar.
The search screen includes recommended destinations, search history, and some ads.
In the search bar, you need to type using Chinese or pinyin. Enter one of the following phrase:
Bus station – (公交车站 - gōng jiāo chē zhàn)
The app uses auto-fill so you will see recommendations while typing. Choose the option with the magnifying glass next to it. This will bring the search results closest to you.
The search results screen will look like this. These are all the bus stops within your vicinity. The red icons on the map represent the bus stops. The blue bar on the bottom provides you with information regarding each bus stop.
Each card under the blue bar tells you the following information:
Bus stop name (in Chinese)
Distance from you. The distance is in meters (米).
Bus numbers that stop there
The cards are in chronological order based on nearest location. Click the first card.
The selected card will open with information about the bus stop. It will show you detailed information about the bus numbers. Click the blue circle with a car icon to see the route to the bus stop.
The bus stop nearest to you might not have the bus you need. If you are using this to get to your destination, you need to know which bus to take. If you are using this to help you call a taxi with a taxi app by finding a common location marker, then any stop is fine.
At the top of the screen is a blue bar that you can swipe left and right. This bar gives you transportation options. There are numerous options including car, walking, bus, and cycling. You can use the following Chinese as reference:
Carpool (顺风车 – shùn fēng chē)
Luxury Taxi (专车 – zhuān chē)
Economy Taxi (优步 – yōu chē)
Find a Driver (驾车 – jià chē)
Public Transportation (公交 – gōng jiāo)
Walking (步行 – bù xíng)
Cycling (骑行 – qí xíng)
This tutorial focuses on finding the nearest bus stop so choose the walking option.
Follow the route on the map to get to the bus stop. At the bottom of the screen is the amount of time it takes and the distance in meters.
The blue circle icon with the triangle that shows your real-time location on the map. This triangle moves based on the direction your phone is pointing. If you are unsure about whether to take a right or left, point your phone in a direction and match the triangle to the suggested route.
Public transportation is efficient if you know how to use it. Baidu Maps is a great tool for finding which transportation options are around you. If you are an expat in China, apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps just aren’t as efficient. So next time you need to take a taxi, use this tutorial to find the nearest bus stop. Then you can use the app to order the taxi to the bus stop which makes it easier for the driver to find you, which means less chance that the driver will call you and speak Chinese.
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