Top five best transport apps [update]

by , Apps 04/02/2014
transport_apps_final

With the recent London Underground strikes disrupting everyone’s travel plans, we’ve been on the lookout for the best available travel apps. Whether you’re a commuter, city-dweller or holiday escapist there’s a download to cut both your travel costs and journey. From Citymapper to Skyscanner, read on for our top five travel apps.

Phone reviews – our test lab verdict on the latest mobiles

1. Citymapper – Available for Android, iOS

Citymapper

PRICE Free

Citymapper is an all-in-one London-centric app that covers live departure information for all possible modes of transport between two locations, with support for train (Tube and Overground), bus, and cycle hire. Walking routes are even included if you want to take the money-saving option. Looking for a cab? Citymapper also features black cab/taxi vs mini cab price comparisons.

Download for Android
Download for iOS

2. National Rail Enquiries – Available for Android, iOS

NationalRail

PRICE Free

If you’re a frequent train traveller across the UK, this app is a must-have for up-to-date rail information. National Rail Enquiries allows you to track specific trains, find out about disruptions to your journey (via push notifications), and re-plan your journey on the go. This app even covers ticket prices at a glance for the budget-minded traveller, although ticket purchasing is made via third-party websites.

Download for Android
Download for iOS

3. Skyscanner – Available for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone

SkyScanner

PRICE Free

Need to find a cheap flight? Skyscanner makes it easy to compare airlines and flight routes so that you’re offered the best possible option, for the cheapest price. You can buy tickets directly from the airline or via a travel agent. Flexible search options allow you to filter results by take off and landing times, airline and pricing.

Download for Android
Download for iOS

4. London Transport Live – Available for Android

LondonTransportLive

PRICE Free

Similar to Citymapper, London Transport Live is an app that does exactly as its title suggests – it allows you to get live arrival information for the different modes of London transport, including buses, Tube, Overground, DLR and ferries. Unsure of where you’re going? London Transport Live also offers a comprehensive travel planner to map out your journey. It’s also got you covered if a service is cancelled or diverted.

There’s also a paid-for version of this app called London Transport Pro, which is available for £1.49.

Download for Android

5. Hailo – Available for Android, iOS

Hailo

PRICE Free

Tube service cancelled? Tired of flailing your arms on the street? Hailo is a sure-fire way of securing a taxi. This app allows you to hail a cab to your exact location using your smartphone; you can even track its journey in real-time.

Considering Hailo is for black cabs only, there are other alternatives available, such as Kabbee (iOS, Android) and Uber (iOS, Android). Kabbee works as a price comparison tool for minicabs, giving you the estimated time of arrival as well as a user rating for each company. Uber connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire or ridesharing services.

Download for Android
Download for iOS

Do you use a transport app that we haven’t included in our top five? Please leave a comment below.

More on this

Best and worst UK train companies - UK’s best train companies for long-distance, regional and commuter services
Best and worst airlines – customer satisfaction scores for over 40 different airlines
Best and worst holiday companies – which holiday company should you use for your next trip?

17 comments

Add your comments

avatar

Gary A

Good post – love Hailo and Citymapper. Best Tube app for me by far is called Tube Exits. Even though I’m a seasoned Tube user I have saved SO much time using that app. To my mind it deserves a place in the top 5.

avatar

Chetna

I have been using London Travel live on my android phone and it seems to give a better options for travel and more precise when compared to citymapper. I have compared the results between the two and I prefer to go with London Travel live.

avatar

Charlotte

Is there an app which is similar to London Travel live for Iphones?

avatar

Dave Stott

You should include TubeExits. If you’ve got 2 minutes’ wait on the platform, you may as well walk to where along the train the exit will be at your destination stop. It includes transfers as well. I really like it. I’ve only got the London one but I understand it has versions for Paris and NYC as well, I think.

avatar

Elizabeth M

I love Tube Exits and also Tube Deluxe which shows live departure boards, has an excellent journey planner, maps and shows line status as well

avatar

Bill Forsyth

For Scotland – I find Traveline Scotland is indispensable.
I use it mainly for buses but it covers most forms of transport including ferries, coaches, subway and “all modes departures”. Also road works and congestion.
It is free.

avatar

Barbara

Billed as travel apps in your newsletter, but more correctly titled transport apps, in the article. Would be good to see list of travel apps e.g TripIt, to go with Skyscanner. I travel a lot but rarely in London so most of your recommendations are not of interest.

avatar

Richard

Picking up Barbara’s point, many of the apps Which has listed are London oriented. Outside London, the provision of transport is by various train and bus companies so information is patchy. Here in the West Country we’ve got a TravelWest app which is locally focussed and there’s also a Traveline SW app covering buses and trains in the SW which is handy, especially during the current weather-related disruption.

avatar

Dawn Tucker

Journey Pro is good, it covers the UK as well as London, has a UK route map and even tells you which carriage you need to get into on the tube network

avatar

Barryb

A very interesting selection of comments – thanks everyone, I’ll keep them for reference. I’m what I believe is called a “late adopter” and haven’t even got a smartphone – yet. But as someone who has travelled mainly by public transport all my life, I’m now thinking of getting one! Of course, real-time London bus information is already available through the TfL website, and can be obtained by text on an ordinary mobile. I use it a lot. But you pay to receive the return text, of course.

avatar

ike

Best nationwide bus app is Mybus. All bus stops are shown, complete with direction arrow and timings.

For flights, Airport Zoom is unbeatable. Seperate lists of arrivals and departures for every commercial airport in the world. Lists by City, Airline, Flight Number,Time Termnal and gate can be column sorted with a click. Click on a flight and you get scheduled and estimated departure/arrivaltmes, and flight performance and aircraft type as well.

avatar

Zee

There are loads of London-specific transport apps and I haven’t tried them all, but of those that I have tried, which includes the two mentioned above, I actually prefer another called London Journey Planner. Having said that, I don’t see how any top 5 apps list can include apps that only work in one city – how are the City Mapper, London Transport Live or London Journey Planner apps any use to the 55 or so million that don’t live in London?

avatar

Mike Mundy

Tube exits is a great time saver.
Mybus is unbeatable for bus services anywhere in the country.
For airports anywhere in the world use Airport Zoom. You can sort by airline, time,destination/starting point.
For trains, Real time trains.

avatar

Joe

I like Bus Scout. I don’t live in London, so the ones you listed here are not much use to me, but this one works in London too. Having said that, I used London Journey Planner from the same developers when I did visit London and it worked a treat.

avatar

Benton08

Thank you for sharing the details on transport apps…

avatar

Jim

That’s it, I’m going to move to London to try these apps out. (sigh…)

avatar

Michael Singh

Please search for “London Transit Trip Planner” on Google Play and try out the app. I am the author of the app and would like to get some feedback regarding the results and any suggestions for improvement.

-Michael

Back to top

Post a Comment

Commenting guidelines

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked

Tired of typing your name and email? Why not register.

Register or Log in