It certainly is no secret – commuting to school and/or work comes with its own set of unique problems and challenges.
Luckily, here at SCLD Media & Communications, we’re all about using technology to overcome challenges. And so, on that note, let me share with you a few apps that can (hopefully) improve your daily commute! If it’s marked with a star✬, it’s one of my favourites!
Developer: GO Transit & Ryerson University
Available on: Blackberry, iPhone (+ iTouch & iPad), Android, Windows
For anyone who takes the GO Bus or Train to York, this is a simply fantastic app. It allows you to search upcoming bus and train schedules, as well as plan trips for later on. You can save your most frequently-used routes in your favourites for easy access. It also tracks bus locations in real time using location services, so you are able to see just how far away your bus is (and you can set an alarm for when it’s getting close)! A word of warning however – the real-time bus tracking can sometimes be unreliable with older buses!
Available on: iPhone, Android
This is definitely one of my favourite apps, particularly because of how simple it is to use. Transit uses location services to allow you to see where the closest bus and subway stops are to your current location. It also tells you the different route options there are at each stop, and gives you real-time updates on when the next bus/train arrives! It also has a trip planning function, which can be extremely useful when you are in an unfamiliar area.
Developer: RocketMan Inc
Available on: Blackberry, iPhone (+ iTouch & iPad), Android
RocketMan, much like transit, shows bus and subway stops nearest you, as well as a list of all upcoming trains and busses at each stop. However, RocketMan outperforms transit in one way – it displays important news updates and alerts straight from the transit companies. If there is a TTC stoppage, you’ll know about it via RocketMan.
Available on: iPhone, Android, Windows
I wish I had a whole post to talk about this app, since there are so many features to talk about. However, in a nutshell, Waze is described as a “free community-based traffic and navigation app.” You basically just type in your destination before you leave and keep the app open while driving and the app automatically sends traffic and other data to its servers. It keeps you updated (hands-free, of course) with traffic data, road closures, police traps, and much more in real-time. Once you’re stopped, you can also use the app to report incidents/irregularities on the road, such as fallen trees or telephone lines, accidents or collisions, and more. There really is just so much you can do with it, and it’s an awesome app for any commuter who drives to York.
Oh, and also the maps are extremely interactive and customizable, and use cool little cartoon dudes to mark important locations/locations to avoid.
Available on: iPhone, Android, Blackberry*
*Limited support on Blackberry App
MapMyRide is an interesting app, because its primary function is for fitness. So, if you are someone who bikes to your bus stop or to school, you not only can use this app’s mapping and trip planning functions to find your way, but you can also keep track of your fitness along the way – a great addition to any rider’s app library.
Available on: All apple products (including Mac computers), Android, Windows
The Kindle app is not a transit-related app – but if you’re like me, you love using your time on the bus or subway to dive into a good book. The kindle app allows you to do just that, using the Amazon online store as your own personal library. Although books on the Amazon store do unfortunately cost money, they are usually cheaper than books at your local bookstore, and can be opened up on any one of your devices with the kindle app (as well as your kindle e-reader, if you have one). As well, there are many books – much like on iBooks – which are offered for free, and you can even load e-books and PDFs (yes, like for school readings and lecture notes) that you already own from your computer onto your device.
Developer: Metro News
Available on: iPhone, Android, Windows
This is another great reading app – however, rather than books, it features up-to-date news from Metro News.
Have your own app suggestions? Comment below, and let me know!
Hey, that rhymes! :p
Au revoir! ‘Til next time!
~ Christopher Ford
Here’s an article for you to check out on the ACMAPS (Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students) blog – it mentions a couple more really useful apps for TTC commuters!