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Wednesday May 1, 2013

Apps that help you make sense of a city’s public transportation

WHEN you arrive in a new city it is always good to know how to get around using public transport like the trains and buses. It is easier, cheaper (you pay so much more for taxis) and faster (no traffic!).

When I first arrived in New York City on an attachment programme, I was introduced to the HopStop app which made my commuting so easy.

This week we feature three useful public transport apps (all free to download) in you find yourself in cities such as Bangkok and Singapore as well as those in the US, Australia and some of Europe.

HopStop (Android, iOS)

This app is user-friendly and easy to use and not only gives you detailed subway and bus directions but it also provides walking and biking trails along transit maps, a station finder and schedules for cities in the US, Canada and Europe.

You can plan your entire trip by just using HopStop.

From your current location, it tells you which train to get on, gauges the distance, estimated time travel as well as cost for taxi, if you need one where there are no train access. As such, it gives you multiple route planning choices.

You can save your recent searches and favourite trips on My Trips. It even gives you wheelchair and stroller accessible friendly routes.

HopStop is also light on memory so it won’t bog down your phone or tablet functions. Explore Singapore (Android, iOS)

As a tourist, I found this app efficient and spot on. It shows the best routes to take, time of travel and fare.

The user interface is clean and uncomplicated.

The network map is comprehensive and provides accurate timings of the trains (unless there is a last-minute change).

The addition of a zoom function was a bonus.

Another useful aspect about this app is it calculates the fastest way to get from one station to another using the different lines.

For example, Serangoon to Bukit Batok, Circle > EW Buona > NS Batok takes 32 minutes, compared to NE > EW Outram > NS Batok which takes 38 minutes. Bangkok Transport (Android, iOS)

This app is great for Bangkok sub-ways.

It also connects the user to the BTS skytrains, trains (MRT) and airport links.

The user interface is also simple and clean.

If you are new to Bangkok, this app lets you know the nearest station and precise GPS location wherever you are.

As with the other apps mentioned, it also provides a fare calculator.

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