Transportation in the Palm of Your Hand

Apps to make public transit a breeze.

By on July 25, 2013

Printed bus schedules and tickets may soon find themselves destined for the trash can as public transportation increasingly goes mobile. Just about every form of getting around can be tied to smartphones and tablets, and high-speed 4G LTE network coverage brings these tools to commuters and travelers at a moment’s notice so they are never left stranded when someone snags their cab or the subway doors close.

Busboy allows commuters to actively track their bus, delivering notifications when it’s arriving. Users can also save their most-traveled routes, saving time and allowing them to better plan future schedules. The MTA Subway Time app provides real-time arrival information on many main, selected lines for riders of New York City’s public transportation system. 

Taxi-hailing apps like Uber and Hailo, which are available in major cities across the United States and Canada with more being added every day, allow users to request, ride, pay for cab services and have a receipt emailed instantly, all without exchanging any physical currency. Payment for these services is handled directly through a customer’s mobile device.

There’s no feeling worse than having to scramble to find a misplaced ticket just before boarding a train or plane. However, mobile boarding passes and mobile tickets now simplify the traveling process. Most airlines have apps that let travelers book a flight, check itineraries and flight times and access boarding passes, all in one centralized location. Rail services like Amtrak also offer mobile solutions, letting travelers plan, book, and display their eTicket right from the app.

As a greener way of getting around, bike sharing is also seeing a boost from mobile integration. Biximo aggregates any and all available rentable bicycles from companies including BikeShare and Hubway, providing users with an up-to-date inventory, as well as available locations to return.