Is that bus ever gonna get here?

Turns out there's an app for that

So you’re about to head out to dinner or to check out that new store you’ve been meaning to get to. But what’s the best route to take? When will the next bus arrive?

Not to worry — there are at least a few apps for that.

After taking a “nap” from the iTunes store this past summer, Red Rocket has returned with a welcome update. Now compatible with iOS4, the latest edition boasts updated maps and schedule data. Look up any bus, subway or streetcar route and find out when the next ride will arrive.

A handy feature makes use of the iPhone’s GPS to list all the stops nearby. You can adjust the range from 10 metres to three kilometres, as well as the number of stops displayed. This app comes loaded with various other features that have made it a favourite among transit users.

Handily, all the route info is built into Red Rocket, so it works even without an Internet connection. Users should beware, though. All that data weighs in at about 99 megabytes, meaning this app is no lightweight. If you want to avoid eating up a good chunk of your monthly data allowance, download it to your computer first and then sync it to your iPhone using iTunes. $2.99.

TO Mobile is another app with many of the same features, but it includes schedules for York Region and Go Transit as well. At $2.99, either app is yours for about the cost of a TTC ride.

But if that still sounds steep, you can now use Google Maps to plot your transit route. Since October, the essential app has included official TTC schedule data. Just drop a pin on the map and tell it to plot a route there by transit (select the bus icon). Tap the clock next to the departure time and it’ll even give you different route options.

TTC Mobile is another free app that provides official TTC route information and incorporates traffic updates from 680 News. It also features a nifty panoramic sweep of Davisville Station while the schedules are loading. Both require an Internet connection.

Note: The TTC is not officially affiliated with any of these apps, but keep your eyes peeled for new innovations in transit navigation! The transit commission has promised to start providing real-time GPS data about bus locations starting early this year.

Have you had any good luck — or bad luck — with these or other transit apps in Toronto? [email=jfreeman@mytowncrier.ca]Drop me a line[/email].


About this article:

By: Joshua Freeman
Posted: Jan 24 2011 12:40 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto
Tagged: