We talked about GoTransit last time so it’s only fair that I dedicate this blog post to another popular mode of public transportation known throughout Toronto as the TTC. A large percentage of York students and commuters are familiar with the red and white buses that line the boulevard and are also familiar with how confusing and frustrating navigating the Toronto Transit Commission can be.
In actuality, there isn’t just one mobile application to help you navigate the maze that is the TTC, but several. If you search on your app download centre (Google Play, BlackBerry App World, the iTunes App Store, etc) or on the Internet you will be overwhelmed with the choice of TTC navigational apps.
I will talk about three popular apps that have all received good reviews and are free to download:
- Transit App
- Transit Now Toronto for TTC
- YourBus TTC
I will rate these apps to help you choose which one might be best for you.
The Transit App is available for use in Toronto and in several other metropolitan areas. For someone who is a bit of a globetrotter (i.e. travels a lot) this app would be a worthy investment. Just a heads up, Transit App will pull from your GPS locator on your device in order to find out where you are and give you the best possible routes/times for your intended destination.
- This app is able to efficiently access information about transit nearby and their departure times
- Able to see bus, streetcar and train stop information
- You can save schedules onto your mobile device and access them without having to be connected to the Internet
- You can follow your bus route on a map and find out what streets it’s passing
- You are able to visually compare trips using the Trip Planner feature
If you are just looking for an app that specifically deals with Toronto transit then this might not be the app for you. Though the design is clean and it’s easy to navigate, it does rely on your GPS to get your exact location. For some, that might not be ideal.
I would give this application 3.5 out of 5.
Transit Now Toronto for TTC
Transit Now Toronto for TTC is exclusively for Torontonians.
- There is an option to set an alert for when the next bus will come
- You can favourite your stops for easier access
- The app is able to see your exact location if you turn on your GPS, but does not need it turned on to function
- You can find out the time you will arrive at your destination and receive a notification to tell you when you are within reach
- Includes a map of the Subway and station info for Subway trains
- Also includes a section for TTC alerts to warn you of any disruptions that may affect your travel
The Transit Now Toronto for TTC is a little harder to navigate than the previous application mentioned. If you do not choose to rely on the assistance of your GPS locator, you may need to be slightly familiar with the destination you are looking up. There are a lot of different features like transit alerts that tell you when your bus may be near. However, in order to access some of the features on this app you will need to purchase the full version, which isn't too costly.
Overall, I would give this app 4 out of 5.
YourBus TTC is a very minimalistic app that shows you information for the buses of the TTC.
- You can input the bus you want and the stop you are located at to see real-time waits
- You can favourite your frequent bus stops
- There is a map icon to view the stops each bus makes and the roads it travels
- There is also the option of viewing the entire schedule for the bus you choose
The YourBus TTC app is very to-the-point. If you just need the bare bones for your transit navigation then this app provides it. The downfall is that it does focus solely on the TTC buses/streetcars, so you will not see anything related to subway information.
If you’re looking for something to replace your paper schedule, then this is the app for you. It’s simple and clear and doesn’t include any extra bells or whistles.
I would give this app 3 out of 5.
Do you have any TTC apps that you frequent that aren't on this list? Let me know, I would love to hear about the ones that work for you, or your opinion about those listed above.
Just like in the Go Mobile article, the best thing to do if you are not able to download any of the apps or if you don't feel comfortable using them is to go to the Toronto Transit Commission page located at TTC.ca. You can either look up the information on your computer or choose to print out the shedules so that you can carry them with you. There are also TTC paper schedules at various transit depots.