Opting to commute or traverse your city via mass transit comes with a variety of perks. From creating downtime that allows you to read or boost your work productivity to saving money as fuel costs rise and eliminating the morning struggle to find parking while doing your part to save the environment, it’s well worth the occasional hassle. Managing the schedules in a larger city can be a fairly daunting tasks, though. Fortunately, the talented developers of applications available through the App Store for your iPhone can come to the rescue, eliminating one more reason to drive your own car to work.
- HopStop – Not only will the free HopStop app provide you with up-to-date and accurate scheduling information for buses and subways in hundreds of cities in the United States, Canada and Europe, but also official transit maps, directions and a station finder. Your scrollable transit maps are even available offline, allowing you to browse when your connection isn’t reliable.
- OneBusAway –If you’re located in the Seattle area, this free app created by the University of Washington will provide you with schedules and real-time arrival information for mass transit in the area. You can search for stops by address, route and stop number, and also find nearby stops with global positioning.
- TransitTimes+ – Available for a variety of cities in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the $4.49 TransitTimes+ app tracks buses, trains, ferries and subways to help you plan your route and access the scheduling information you need to ensure that you never miss your ride again.
- allSchedules – Covering more than five-hundred thousand stops in more than one hundred cities, allSchedules is a free app that provides public transit schedules and arrival predictions, along with interactive maps and offline schedule brochures.
- Smart Ride – Named one of TIME Magazine’s “50 Best iPhone Apps” for 2012, Smart Ride is a free app that provides alerts, arrival information and schedules for many areas in North America. Avoid delays, find arrival times at other stops and save your favorite stop locations for quick access later.
- Nextime – For $2.99, Nextime will make sure that you don’t miss your bus by quietly tracking it in the background, then sending a notification when it’s time for you to make your way to the stop. Not only does Nextime manage your bus schedule, it also automatically calculates the walking distance from your current location to your chosen bus stop.
- RailBandit – Amtrak and commuter train schedules are available with a few taps of the screen through this $2.99 app, which provides offline transit directions, trip-planning and scheduling capabilities up to fourteen days in advance and track the train you’re currently riding to determine whether or not it’s on time.
- Transit Maps – The best scheduling app in the world won’t help you make it to the bus stop on time if you can’t find it, which is why this free app is just as important as your favorite transit schedule.
- Lumatic City Maps – Lumatic provides you with scheduled departure times for all transit lines near your current location, but also directions to local businesses and navigation by recognizable landmarks. While this free app will help you manage mass transit schedules, it’ll also help you navigate the city when you get off the bus.
- The Transit App – Covering twenty-one cities, the free version of the Transit App provides itinerary information and schedules for the three transit routes nearest to you, while subscribers can access the same information for routes in a 1.5km radius.
While making your own small contributions to preserving the environment by minimizing your carbon footprint can be its own reward, there is a perhaps unforeseen perk to skipping your morning drive in favor of hopping the bus or a train is that you’ll finally be able to use your iPhone’s many features safely. Rather than struggling to keep your eyes on the road, risking serious injury due to a car accident and taking the chance of a citation for using your phone while you’re driving, make your commute a public one and enjoy your device safely!