Whether you're trying to shave a few minutes off your daily commute or visiting a new city and want to use public transportation to get around, the best transit apps can help you plan your trip usingmore
Whether you're trying to shave a few minutes off your daily commute or visiting a new city and want to use public transportation to get around, the best transit apps can help you plan your trip using a variety of transportation options, from buses and subways to streetcars and ferries.
If you want an all-in-one app for planning your public transit and car trips.
Google Maps is not just for turn-by-turn directions. It can help you plan your public transportation trip, too. Pick your destination, tap Directions, and then tap the Transit tab to see train lines and bus routes to where you want to go. Google Maps gives you many choices: You can choose your departure time, if you want to go the fastest route, or your preferred means of public transportation; you can even just use the app to schedule a ride with Uber or Lyft. And the app shows live departure times, if available. On the downside, it doesn't adjust its travel times well to traffic or if your route changes. The service is far reaching and spans continents, countries, regions, and cities. In California, for example, it covers more than 130 regional and city transit services.
It covers 40 or so cities, but if you live in one it tracks, check out Citymapper.
Citymapper pulls real-time data from various mapping, transit, and crowd-sourced services to chart your quickest public transportation route. You can set locations for spots you frequently travel to and from -- such as home and work -- or just enter a location. Once you are ready to go, Citymapper will display suggested routes with departure times, fares, and travel times. And once you've set your course, Citymapper will display a live estimate of travel time -- including time spent walking -- and then steps you through your route in a series of screens. The only downside is Citymapper has nowhere near the coverage of Google Maps or Moovit: It spans about 40 major locations, from Vancouver to Mexico City, London to Brussels, Tokyo to Petersburg, and Sao Paulo to Sydney.
Citymapper is not your only choice.
Tell Moovit where you want to go, and the app will display travel times and suggested routes for public transit and ride-sharing services. Select your route, and the app presents a series of screens that step you through your trip with live detailed directions, including arrival times, walking distance, and number of stops till you depart. The app can alert you when you reach a transfer point or your destination. The app also includes crowdsourcing tools so you can report the status of a line and see reports from others. Moovit covers transit systems in 78 countries and 1,500 cities worldwide.
If your transportation route includes walking and biking, Transit's got you covered.
Transit takes a slightly different approach than other public-transit apps. When you open it up, it presents a dashboard of transportation options near you. In a major city, it's almost exhilarating to consider all the places you can go. It can also be overwhelming trying to find the one route you want in a screen crowded with choices. If, however, you have a specific location in mind, pick your destination, and the app gives you a variety of travel options, including public transit, biking, walking, and taking a ride-sharing service. Once you've picked your mode of transportation, tap and the app guides you through your journey. Transit can chart your trip in 10 countries and 145 cities.
You don't have to leave the Apple ecosystem to find an outstanding transit app.
Along with everything else it does, Apple Maps let you plan a public-transit trip. Pick a destination, and Maps picks the best methods for getting there. The app displays step-by-step directions, or you can have Siri step you through your journey. Apple Maps covers about three dozen U.S. cities, two dozen international cities, and a handful of countries, such as China.