Train delays and cancellations, road closures, traffic jams. As commuters in the metro New York area know, getting to work—or most anywhere, really—can often be a challenge.
Luckily, there are several mobile apps designed to smooth the way, whether you're taking the train or driving. Here are six travel apps to check out:
By Mobile Machinations; one-time subscription fee
A Sleepy Hollow Metro-North commuter created this app, which lets you set an alarm when it’s time to leave to catch the train—perfect for those with a late afternoon meeting or who like to unwind with a drink before heading home. Miss that train? RailTime tells you the next one. Expresses only? Done. You don’t need WiFi to get schedule information because it’s stored in your phone. The app can also help you figure out the best transfer points, and you can program it to send an e-mail or Tweet notifying people about your status.
OnTime for iPhone app
By Ripple Mobile LLC; $1.99
This iPhone app intended to “help busy individuals get from one place to the next—on time, every time.” The app syncs your e-calendar with a GPS function and sends reminders about upcoming appointments, maps the best route to get to a destination, alerts you of traffic delays, and can even notify an appointment if you’re running late. Sounds like a winner for the direction- and time-challenged among us.
Aha Radio app
By Aha Mobile; free
The Aha Radio app delivers “on-demand, personalized, interactive” radio to your mobile device. This app boasts more than 50 stations, including one called Nearby Traffic that provides traffic conditions based on your location. You can also communicate with other drivers who use the app by listening to or leaving your own “Shout Out.” If you’re hungry, Aha can find restaurants based on preferences you’ve programmed and can even help you find a restroom when you’re on the road.
By GasBuddy; free
The GasBuddy app provides the same service as the website—locating gas stations in your area and displaying current fuel prices. The app can be used on most smartphones.
By Blue Technology Solutions; 99 cents
This app gives users up-to-date train schedules for several transit systems around the country, including MetroNorth and other MTA lines. Provides schedule information for trains leaving within 24 hours and lets you send messages to people letting them know when you’re arriving. Available for the Android, BlackBerry and iPhone.
By Appigo; 99 cents
This app gauges your car's fuel efficiency and tracks mileage and fill-up history. The app also gives you information about how your driving habits affect efficiency (hint: slow down!).