With the Olympic Games finally here, London is bracing themselves for the slew of tourists and athletes expected to engulf the city for the duration of the event. In light of this, we’ve collated a list of useful apps, centred around public transport in London, which you may find help ease the extra stress placed on your commute.
There are a vast array of ways to get around the city, but we’ve focused on the key methods used by the majority of commuters. Our app selection spans walking, ‘bussing’, ‘tubing’ and cycling throughout London with apps downloadable on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.
MxData’s London Tube Map application is fantastic, not only does it offer a full, scalable tube map encompassing zones 1 through 6, but it lets you plan your route to find the fastest journey or fewest changes. There’s also a station finder, underground departure times and real-time service updates to keep track of delays on the lines. The best part about this app is that it’s available for free across iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
London Bus Checker
For some overground inner city transport, taking one of the city's iconic red buses is a must, of course knowing which one to get and when, if it’s not part of your normal commute might prove a little tricky if you’re short on time and that’s where the London Bus Checker apps comes in. As well as offering live timetables of buses throughout London, there’s GPS-based bus stop location to help you find your nearest stop, full bus route navigation so you can see exactly where you’re headed and even a live arrivals widget for Android users, so you know exactly when the next bus is hitting your stop right from the home screen . Available on both iOS and Android.
Nokia have been working hard to differentiate their Windows Phone devices, which started to arrive on the market at the end of last year and in doing so, created the Nokia suite; a selection of apps exclusive to Lumia handsets. Nokia transport is one such app; a simple application which shows you the fastest routes in real-time based purely on where you are and where you want to go, whether it by walking, train, tube or bus. It's an excellent no-frills solution to planning travel around the city, free and exclusive for Nokia Lumia owners.
For Android users, the latest iteration of Google Maps also features the best version of their public transport services yet. Not only can users add a public transport layer showing tube stations and routes, but getting from A to B via public transport is clear and easy with both text and visual navigation on offer. There's even room for multiple public transport routes if your commute allows it so you can choose which path best suits you and best of all, it’s free.
One of the best new London transport systems in recent years, borrowed from other great cities such as Paris and Amsterdam is the new Barclays bike scheme. If you prefer to cycle rather than take the bus or tube around London, we recommend you keep this app close. The app, which is available on iOS and Android is split into four sections, you can locate bike docks near you when you need to pick up a bicycle, plan your route with route information and turn by turn navigation, add an alarm on your rental timer so you know when your bike is due to be returned and you can even bookmark your favourite docking stations so you always know where to find them without having to hunt around. A free application that’s essential for those who cycle around the city.