The Best Transit Apps For Commuters (Android & iPhone)

People who take public transit often need the perfect route that’ll get them to their destination in record time. These apps can help provide options.

Smartphones are certainly an essential tool to have on a commute, and there are many transit apps that make the experience a little more hassle-free for anyone who uses an iPhone or Android device. Those who live in cities with reliable public transit options may often forego bringing their own cars to places to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Of course, there are also people who don’t have their own vehicles to drive and are heavily reliant on buses, trains, subways, cabs, and other transport services.

As one of the highly used navigation apps, Google Maps provides a pretty thorough representation of traffic situations in most places in the country (and the world). Not only does it provide route information for those who drive their own transportation, but it also has options that show cycling and public transit routes. However, in some cases, and depending on where the user is located, recommendations may not always be the best. For that reason, it’s important to use and consult other transit apps to increase the chances for a punctual arrival at any destination.


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Out of the many transit apps available for both Android and iOS, Citymapper It seems to be the best option to try first, as it’s highly rated at 4.8 stars with over 10 million downloads on Google Play and 4.9 stars (as well as an Editor’s Choice award) on Apple’s App Store. It’s completely free to use and has an attractive and user-friendly interface. Upon launch, the Citymapper app automatically detects the user’s location and lets them select from various transportation options—such as cabs, trains, buses, and even lesser-known options like streetcars, e-scooters, and ferries—to see what’s available nearby. Travelers can also enter a destination and a planned time of departure or arrival and be given a list of commute routes, with a combination of different modes of transit, and respective trip durations. Citymapper also has a useful alert feature that lets the commuter know when their stop is approaching and when it’s time to get off.

Other iPhone & Android Transit Apps To Try

citymapper app pages

Moovit—a popular option for Android with over a million downloads on Google Play—is another free transit app worth considering if a second opinion on public transit routes is needed. Experienced commuters can view nearby stations and search for a specific bus, train, or other public transit lines by name or type. Users who need directions to a specific location can simply put in a destination name, set preferences for routes and transit types, and specify desired departure or arrival times to get relevant suggested routes, complete with fare costs.

Transit—another popular and free transit app that’s also highly rated and given the Editor’s Choice award on the App Store—is another great alternative to a user’s default map app. Upon launching Transit, nearby public transportation options are displayed onscreen, with corresponding trip durations. The app’s interface is especially great for visual learners as different transit types are color-coded and easy to identify from a list of route suggestions. After selecting a route, if for some reason the traveler misses one of the modes of transit they need to take, there’s a tab they can tap to view trips similar to the one they’ve decided, ensuring they make it to their destination despite delays .

Some of these apps offer a premium subscription that unlocks a lot more useful features, such as an expanded view of transit line schedules, more route suggestions, rain warnings, and more. All three work seamlessly with ride-sharing platforms like Uber or Lyft, giving travelers a little bit more flexibility. Depending on how often users use transit apps on their smartphone and how often they commute or use public transit, it may be worth paying the subscription fee for their transit app of choice so that they don’t find themselves spending so much unnecessary time en route to their final destination.

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Sources: Citymapper, Moovit, Transit

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