Travel Apps: Public Transportation

Since we are so wired all day, every day – I decided to share some useful travel apps. We all know things like Google Maps (or any other default map apps on the phone), but there are many others out there to choose from. Today, I’m highlight two that I mentioned in a earlier post, but never really dug into:

Transit (iOS/Android)

I was introduced to this website by a web developer downtown. He had nothing but great things to say about. Since I knew the UX/UI was reliable, and it was free, I decided to test it out for myself. You type in and/or tap the location you’re interested in. The app will then display all public transportation options and how long of a wait you’re looking at. Now that there’s uberX integration, you also get those times and an approximate cost as well. You can filter the kinds of transportation that you’re open to and if you need to minimize walking.

Metra onTime (iOS)

I started using this app specifically for the Metra train (not to be mixed up with “L” trains). It covers all the lines and train stations. So if you need to commute within Chicagoland from the Loop, this is a great one to consider. You pick the stations you need to travel between and the date/time you need to travel. It then displays all the trains running and a countdown of when each is scheduled to leave the station. An important note: this displays when trains are supposed to leave, not when they actually leave (in case of rescheduling). Track information is also not available.

With the list of everything it doesn’t note, you might be questioning why I’d recommend it. You do get service alerts from the official Metra website, can save your home and work stations so it always defaults according; and it takes one tap to reverse stations and see all the other trains available. Also, you can set an alarm for a specific train. So yes, it’s not perfect, but when you’re bouncing between locations and just need a mental reminder of when trains switch to the hourly schedule (instead of rush hour trains)–it’s an awesome thing to have on hand. If they ever get to the point where live updates get integrated–it’ll be my sole source for all things Metra.

The Sounding Board Graphic

Tasty Tuts is one of my new favorite graphic design resources. Check out this awesome free tutorial that walks you through Adobe Illustrator. Talk about instruction done right.

Twitter Curator is rather eye-catching. It’s still in beta, so I have no juicy tidbits to share. I’m curious to see how it compares to similar platforms.