Free Apps for iPhone & Android
by Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter @kellythekiwi)
London is one of the best cities in the world when it comes to public transport – there are so many choices! Whether you are a regular commuter or a holiday maker, this list of my top 10 free London transport apps will help you plan your journeys, get to your destination on time and save you money.
It may sound a bit geeky, but Citymapper is my favourite London transport app – it tells you absolutely everything you need to know! Once you choose your start and end location, it will advise you on all the different transport options available to you. And I’m not just talking about buses and underground routes, Citymapper will display walking and cycling routes as well as giving you an estimated taxi price. If you are due to meet up with your friends share your location using the ‘Meet Me Somewhere’ feature.
Has your train been cancelled? Are you carrying a load of luggage? Maybe taking a taxi would be a better idea. Use Minicabit to compare the price of different mini cab companies in London. The app gives you their top picks in terms of highest rated by other passengers, which can arrive at your location the quickest, which company is the cheapest and which is known to be the most punctual. If you decide to take one of the options you can pay for your journey by credit card via the app.
#3 London Live Bus Countdown
If you are a regular user of London buses then you need to download the London Live Bus Countdown. There are two main functions of the app:
1. Live Departures – the app will list/map the closest bus stops to you and tell you when the next buses are due.
2. Route Planning – once you input your start and finish locations it will give you all the possible routes. Select the bus number(s) at the bottom of your screen to find out how long each option will take and where you will need to change buses.
London Live Bus Countdown is available for iOS.
#4 London Transport Planner
The original Android equivalent of Citymapper is London Transport Live. The app gives you all the transport information you need whether you are planning on going by bus, train, London underground or ferry. It is really easy to choose your favourite stations and the live updates come in handy if your train/bus has been delayed, diverted or cancelled.
London Transport Live is available on Google Play
#5 Bus London
If missing your bus stop is a major problem then you should try downloading the Bus London app. There is a great feature called ‘Wake Me’. Choose your destination and you will receive an alert when you are at your stop. The app also has live departures and a fare calculator so you can work out which ticket option is the best one for you.
#6 Tube Map
If you find the London Underground system to be a complete puzzle then download this app now! Tube Map will make your time spent underground a lot easier. You can view the map as a whole, use the route planner, be alerted of any service disruptions and get station information. The basic app is free but there are upgrades available if you want to know which is the best carriage to be on for your exit or if you need to know the first and last trains of the day.
#7 Tube Map Live
Rather than focusing on route planning, this app brings the tube map to life! You can see exactly where your next train is as it is making its way around the city. To be honest, apart for the line statuses, there isn’t much more to this app, but it might be fun to pick a train and then race it to the station.
Tube Map Live is available on iOS.
#8 Santander Cycles
The Santander Cycles app is perfect for those of you who want to stay outdoors and cycle around the city. You can plan your route according to your cycling ability, find the nearest docking station and set an alarm to let you know when your free cycle time is up.
#9 National Rail Enquiries
If you use the train for your daily commute then the National Rail Enquiries app is the perfect accessory. Probably the most important feature of the app is the Live Trains tab which lets you know when each train is due and if there has been any hold ups – you can also set disruption alerts. It will also let you know the different types of fares available for your journey.
#10 Thames Clipper Tickets
The Thames Clipper is the fastest of the river boats and using the app makes your journey quicker. Apart from having a timetable for all services and each departure port, you can also use the app to purchase your tickets. When you get on board simply activate your ticket and show it to the crew – no need to queue or print your ticket before you go.
With all these apps available for free you will never be late, lost or spending too much on transport in London again.
Twitter pages to follow:
London Tube: @TubeMapApp
Barclays Cycle Hire: @BarclaysCycle
National Rail Enq: @NRailupdates
MBNA Thames Clipper: @thamesclipper
You may also want to check the cheapest way to get around London.