Top five best transport apps [update]

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

CitymapperCitymapper is a free 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: iOS/Android

2) National Rail Enquiries

RailIf you’re a frequent train traveller across the UK, this free 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: iOS/Android

3) Uber

UberUber has quickly become the go-to app for getting a minicab around big cities in the UK, such as London, Manchester and Birmingham. The free download is easy to use, you simply hail a cab by tapping your phone’s touchscreen – in return you’l be given an estimated arrival time and fare.

You can also check this estimated fare before calling an Uber and see how long the your cab will take to look arrive. In general, Uber’s fees are a lot cheaper than what you’d pay when using a black cab.

Download: iOS/Android/Windows Phone

4) Skyscanner

SkyscannerNeed to find a cheap flight? Skyscanner is a free app that 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: iOS/Android

5) Hailo

HailoHailo is a sure-fire way of securing a black cab. This free download allows you to hail a taxi to your exact location using your smartphone; you can even track its journey in real-time.

Since Hailo is for black cabs only, this means all its drivers have ‘the knowledge’ and won’t rely on a sat nav to ferry you around town. It also means its prices are more expensive than Uber’s.

Download: iOS/Android

More on this

Best and worst UK train companies – the best companies for long-distance and regional travel
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?

Categories: Apps

Tagged as: , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.


  15. Thanks for sharing traveling apps For flights, Airport Zoom is unbeatable. Separate lists of arrivals and departures for every commercial airport in the world.

  16. AirportsFirst Taxi is missing. AirportsFirst Taxi Ltd is a company that provides exclusive chauffeur 24 hours services in the UK.AirportsFirst guaranteed competitive prices nationally to and from any airport in London including Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Southend and London City Airport.

  17. This was an excellent number of blogs divided in to categories. it is friendly to find our required blogs thanks for the list of blog. And also i had a blog which comes under all categories, please add in this list.

  18. I wasn’t happy with the available apps for train commuters so I made my own called Traintrack ( which displays just enough info for regular train commuters to make decisions about their train travel. If you’re a commuter like me, give it a try!

  19. Thanks Ryan for sharing wonderful bunch of apps that are making life easier for commuters. Tech companies are equipped with the expertise, now it’s the call of transport authorities to update their transport systems with NFC, particularly, buses that ferry a good crowd, thereby enabling commuters to pay fare through Android Pay, Apple Pay, using their phone.

Create account

You can leave a reply without having a WordPress account, but if you do register you can upload an avatar. A WordPress account is not connected to your Which? login and cannot be used to login to or any other Which? services.

Sign up