As Christmas approaches, Australians find ways to show off their holiday spirit; from decorating their homes and office spaces, to dressing in Christmas-themed attire or blasting Mariah Carey holiday tunes.
One of the most accessible and widely-experienced displays of Christmas cheer is bus drivers decorating their vehicles with tinsel, ribbons and banners.
A Christmas-decorated bus at Blacktown bus depot, Sydney
Some jolly drivers decorate their buses each year, with children often delighted to find their transport for the day decked out in holiday theme.
Transport app NextThere has jumped on the bandwagon this year, using a few holiday-appropriate emoji to help users find and catch Christmas buses.
A screenshot from the app, with Santa and tree emoji
NextThere software developer Rupert Hanson told The Huffington Post Australia he was happy to give his app, which gives live information on public transport arrival times, a bit of festive cheer.
"As a daily public transport user I’ve always loved stumbling across Christmas buses each year, it’s a great bit of fun as the year winds down. Customers on board always seem thrilled by it, you see both young and old alike snapping away on their phones, and the drivers seem really proud of their buses," Hanson.
"A mate sent me a photo on board the Christmas bus he’d caught home and I thought wouldn’t it be great to be able to find where they are so I don’t miss out on catching one this year. I’d totally leave a few minutes later and catch a different bus to work or home if I knew it was going to be a Christmas bus."
Hanson said he obtained information from Buses NSW about which of its buses in Sydney and Newcastle had been decorated for the holidays, adding that information into the app -- denoted on screen by a Santa and Christmas tree emoji.
"When I started writing NextThere I really wanted to find a way to make public transport a bit easier to use and a bit more fun and this is just another little thing in that spirit," he said.
"[Christmas buses are] a totally charming aspect of public transport in Sydney."
Several users have already spoken of their delight at finding a Christmas bus using the app.
Don't be too disappointed if you can't find a Christmas bus operating on your bus route, however. Hanson said unfortunately only around 10 state buses had been decorated, but the app will help your chances of finding one in the wild.
You can find NextThere in the app store.