7 Public Transit Tracker Apps to Help You Arrive on Time
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You’re on your way to work. As you walk up the stairs to the train platform, the doors close and it begins the slow roll to its destination without you. You were only a couple minutes too late, and now you’re stuck waiting for the next train.

Luckily, technology has provided us with several genius ways to monitor trains, buses, and subways. With these public transit tracker apps, you won’t miss your connection again.

1. Citymapper

You can count on Citymapper to provide you with real-time data for all the public transit options in your area. If you’re curious about train and bus times, hit the Rail or Bus buttons on the main menu. Citymapper will open up a map that displays any train stations, bus stops, and subway stations within walking distance.

Select Get Me Somewhere on the main menu, and input the location that you’re headed to. Citymapper will pull up all your transit options and your estimated time of arrival, as well as the cost of travel.

Citymapper doesn’t stop at just trains, buses, and subways—it also shows you available rideshares, Ubers, Lyfts, bike paths, and even ferries.

Download: Citymapper for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Transit

Transit’s simple interface makes it easy to get from one destination to the next. As soon as you open the app, it shows you a map of your area, along with the closest available public transit options and departure times. Unlike Citymapper, Transit supports Amtrak as well.

You can even keep track of your bus and train’s real-time location—watch your train or bus approach your stop, and never worry about getting there too late. Plus, you can turn on push notifications to alert you of any service changes.

If you’re not familiar with your surroundings, use the Go option to enable step-by-step directions. This way, you’ll know exactly which bus stop or train station will allow you to reach your destination in a timely manner.

Don’t see a transit option that works for you? Conveniently use the app to call a nearby Lyft, Uber, or Via ride, or locate the nearest bike-share to use as your backup plan.

Download: Transit for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Moovit

Moovit supports over 2,700 metro areas. When you’re ready to depart, add your destination and use Moovit’s live directions to get to your transit option on time.

Use a combination of buses, trains, bikes, subways, ferries, or even an Uber to get to your location in the most efficient way possible. This convenient transit tracker supports several of the most widely-used transit agencies such as MTA, NJ Transit, BART, LA Metro, Caltrain, and much more.

Moovit has a unique interface that allows you to view the nearby transit stations and lines in a clear-cut manner. Hit the Lines option on the bottom of your screen, and you’ll scroll through the city’s different train and bus routes. When you tap on a specific line, the app puts its schedule right at your fingertips. You also have the option of moving your cursor around the map to locate any nearby stations.

Download: Moovit for Android | iOS (Free)

4. Rome2rio

Not only does Rome2rio provide you with bus, train, ferry, rental car, and rideshare information, but it also shows you flight schedules. Rome2rio has access to the schedules and prices of 5,000 different companies in over 160 countries.

Simply enter your destination in Rome2rio’s search bar—whether it’s across the country or across the city, Rome2rio will show you how to get there. As if Rome2rio couldn’t get any better, you should know that you can purchase transit tickets through the app, making it a great app to plan trips with.

Download: Rome2rio for Android | iOS (Free)

5. OneBusAway

OneBusAway is an open source app that allows you save your favorite bus stops, locate nearby stops, and receive reminders for your most-traveled routes. As the name of the app implies, it focuses solely on buses.

Unfortunately, OneBusAway doesn’t have as far of a reach as some of these other apps, but it still provides accurate travel information for bus riders in large cities. Currently, OneBusAway is only available in Oregon, California, Washington, Florida, Washington D.C., and in the York Region of Canada.

Open up OneBusAway, and take a look at your city’s map—each green dot represents a bus stop. Tap on one of the stops, and you’ll get detailed information on the bus’ path.

Download: OneBusAway for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Transportr

When it comes to public transportation, the locals usually have the best information. That’s where Transportr comes in—this open source Android app 12 Best Free and Open Source Android Apps 12 Best Free and Open Source Android Apps Are you an open source enthusiast? Then you'll love these apps for your Android phone or tablet. Read More has been edited and created by people from all over the world using data from local transit agencies. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even add your own city to the app.

Ready to hit the road? Type in your destination and Transportr will show you the best routes via subway, train, or bus, along with departure times and any delays. You can also take a look at the map to see the closest stations.

Transportr doesn’t use Google Analytics’ tracking tools, so you don’t have to be concerned about any intrusions of your privacy.

Download: Transportr for Android (Free)

7. Google Maps

Sometimes you just have to go back to the basics. If you’re already familiar with Google Maps, you know how simple the app is to use. Type in your destination, and Google Maps will find the best travel path for you.

To display public transit options, choose the train icon on the top of the menu bar. Not only will Google Maps show train options, but it also shows bus routes as well as subway and tram schedules. With Google Maps’ easy-to-follow directions and GPS tracking, you’re unlikely to get lost.

If you never tried out this feature before, it’s probably not the only lesser-known Google Maps feature you’re missing out on.

Download: Google Maps for Android | iOS (Free)

Always Arrive on Time

Don’t forget that you also have the option of using an app created by one of your local transit agencies, such as the MTA. Either way, you won’t have to scramble to get to your stop only to find that you already missed the bus. Most of these apps let you in on any delays or early arrivals that can impact your travel plans.

Taking a trip to a city? Make sure to use these essential navigation apps for Android 8 Best Free Offline GPS Navigation Apps for Android 8 Best Free Offline GPS Navigation Apps for Android Need directions on your phone but don't have an internet connection? These offline GPS apps for Android will help you navigate. Read More in addition to these public transit tracker apps.

Explore more about: Android Apps, Google Maps, iOS Apps, Maps, Transportation.

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  1. Gadfeal English
    May 8, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    MOOVIT HAS BEST GLOBAL COVERAGE FOR PLANNING AND SCHEDULING. I've tested this in France in the smallest towns, Spain and in a few US cities. For urban transport, I would only use Moovit that has the most number of systems (? many thousands). It blows Citymapper and Transit out of the water in terms of sheer number of towns covered. I really don't know how they keep all of the cities updated without a huge team.
    ROME2RIO is not a valid urban transit solution as it is clunky. However, it is probably the BEST city to city route planner, including combinations of flight, bus and rail. However, it is not a valid itinerary scheduler as the "Total travel time" for multimodal trips is not realistic since it is simply an addition of the component transit times. For example, connecting flights from Europe the US should have 3 hours layover added, to make time for delays, border and Customs lining, recheck-in and security re-checks; the only exception would be for flights from the few airports with CBP Pre-clearance (Dublin, Dubai, Nassau, Canadian airports...) so that incoming flights are treated as US domestic.
    LOCAL TRANSIT APPS may be superior to any of these multi-city apps. So, if you are staying put in a given city, there may be a better app available for that city only.

  2. ReadandShare
    May 6, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    For ex-Soviet countries (except Tajikistan for some reason) - download the very easy to use 2GIS app. I like how their bus and metro routes are superimposed onto their city maps, so with GPS, you know exactly where your bus is along the route and how many more stops to go before you get off. Clicking any bus stop gives you a pop up of other available buses at that stop (where you can drill further down for route details if you wish).

  3. Mark Tristan R. Ocampo
    May 6, 2019 at 10:25 am

    I live outside US. Are these apps available internationally?

    Thanks.

    • Emma Roth
      May 6, 2019 at 10:54 am

      Yes, all of these apps are available outside the U.S. in select areas. OneBusAway is the only app that doesn't have a long list of supported locations outside the U.S., as it only has data for the U.S. and Canada.