By adding bike share, the Transit App just became the ultimate Seattle car-free mobility tool

I’m trying to get from here to there, and all I have with me is my ORCA card, my phone and my feet. What’s the best way?

The Transit App knows.

The app for Android and iOS works in cities all over the world, pulling all transit agency schedules, whatever real-time transit data exists, car share locations, walking and biking all into one convenient and easy-to-use place.

It was already my favorite app for navigating the city on transit, but today the app added private bike share data and blew me away.

For the first time you can see all the available bikes near you from ofo, Spin or LimeBike in one spot.

But that’s not even the best part. If you use the app’s routing feature (drag the screen around until the purple dot is on your destination, then tap the arrow in the top corner), the app will calculate your best real-time transit options as well as how long it would take to bike share there, walking time included.

Select the option with the nearest bike, and it will giving you walking directions to your bike, then give you biking directions to your destination:

The bike route directions are often not the best (in this case, it routes along Alaskan Way and 1st Ave instead of taking the 2nd Ave bike lane, for example), but the time estimates are typically pretty good.

For me, this app is about figuring out which option is the best for each trip. And if I am taking transit routes I am not familiar with, this app is amazing at helping you figure out where you need to go to transfer, how much time you will have between buses, etc. While I also like OneBusAway, I find myself using Transit much more often these days.

Today’s update is just amazing. It is now capable of far more than any other phone-based mobility tool out there. And it puts bike share data exactly where it belongs: Next to your transit options.

Having a mobility tool this powerful in your pocket is very empowering for people trying to get around without owning a car. Selling that damn thing just got a lot easier.

Now there is only one Transit App feature left on my personal wish list, and I understand it is probably pretty difficult to make happen (would likely require a lot of calculations): Mixing transit and bike share in the same trip. Is it faster to bike the whole way, take the local bus near me or ride a bike share to an express transit route?

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6 Responses to By adding bike share, the Transit App just became the ultimate Seattle car-free mobility tool

  1. asdf2 says:

    The citymapper app used to support mixed trips that involved a combination of Pronto and ST Express, but it doesn’t support the new bike shares – at least not yet.

    Trips where a bike+bus is faster than just bus or bike alone definitely exist. My daily commute is one of them (although it might turn into a trip of pure biking once they finally open the 520 bridge trail).

  2. kDavid says:

    A very useful looking app – I too like Onebusaway, but I am going to give this a whirl.
    NB: on my Android phone version of the app, the “route me there” Arrow is on the top right of the screen…

  3. Al Dimond says:

    Heh, there also seems to be a path in that route that doesn’t exist on the ground, due-north-south from the corner of 1st/Lenora to Alaskan Way at Stewart. I can’t even think of what it plausibly could be… maybe I’ll have to install the app and check…

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