Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 16 - No Cars

Jason's tips for successful public transportation:

3. A smartphone. I know there was a time before smartphones when people looked at bus schedules and checked their watches to know when the bus would arrive. But, for my money, transit directions and arrival predictions are killer apps for your phone.

For trip planning nothing beats pure Google Maps. You already love it for driving directions. Now flip the switch to transit and you've got the power of the Goog planning your arrivals, departures, and transfers. Google knows the bus schedules and does an excellent job of planning trips. It does not, however, integrate with Tri-Met's real-time tracking.

For that you need an Android app called AnyStop (I don't know what you need on any other phone OS). I've tried every app in the Android market claiming to do real-time Tri-Met predictions, and AnyStop is the best. I've found it to be extremely accurate. It has map integration which, while a little clunky, does a decent job of finding stops that are your key to getting predictions. It claims to let you look up predictions based on bus lines instead of stops, but that feature has always given me an error. (I know it sounds like I'm not impressed with AnyStop, but it is by far the best app out there.)


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