Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A reprise of #anz23mthings 4 and #blogjune Day 4 Mobile assisted public transport

When I was reading through some of the posts for Week 4 of #anz23mthings one of the posts I read was by @tapsister.  What a potentially life-changing one that was for me!  She described how she used apps on her phone to assist with public transport usage in Melbourne.  Well, duh Anne, why why have you not thought of this?

Fiona described her use of apps on her android, but I quickly found two similar apps for my iPhone. Train Tracker is produced by Synapps  and Tram Tracker by Yarra Trams. These both allowed me to favourite tram and train lines, to look up timetables at individual stops, stations etc.  TramTracker opens at my favourite stop and gives me the time in minutes for the next three trams (as on the tram stops with that technology). It also offers the option of using the GPS facility to find nearby tramstops and tramlines.  Great!

But this morning I headed out to Melbourne Museum for the Afghanistan exhibition and found myself waiting on a bus stop! Hmm the Ventura bus company has no app.  However, soon I found the PTV (Public Transport Victoria) iPhone application.  This provides info about all Melbourne public transport: trams, trains and buses. You can search for your route and stop, save timetables for offline use, look up times in advance (I'm not sure how long in advance as the calendar for January 2014 was there but no attached timetable), use a journey planner tool, look for nearby public transport options.

I think that this app will be the one for me! Thanks, @tapsister!  Sometimes it amazes me how I don't use tools in front of me.  When I am traveling, say in London, I always use journey planning tools.  Why don't I here? Well, I do sometimes by using Google but usually on my desk top and not on the go. But most often I just head off with a general estimation of how long it will take me to get from place A to place B.   I wonder if these apps will change my practice significantly?

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