Best transit apps for iPhone: Google Maps, Moovit, Citymapper, and more!

Whether you're learning your way around a new city or just want delay alerts, these are the best transit apps for iPhone

Looking for the best iPhone apps to help you master transit directions? When Apple ditched Google for their own map data in iOS 6 one of the casualties was transit. While rumors persist that we might get transit back in iOS 8, for the last year and a half anyone who wanted to go anywhere on on bus, train, or subway/metro had to rely on a third-party transit app to do it. Luckily there are many apps in the App Store to help you navigate public transit, but to get alerts about delays and outages. But which transit apps are the absolute best?

Google Maps

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Best US transit apps for iPhone: Google Maps

Google Maps offers transit directions for bus, train, subway, bike, and pretty much anything else a city would have available. If a specific area offers a specific type of transit, you'll probably find it within Google Maps. While Google Maps isn't the prettiest transit app of them all, the map data that Google has under their belt is pretty much greater than any other maps database. That means wherever you go, Google Maps can most likely provide you transit directions.

If you travel to different cities — or even different countries —rather frequently, Google Maps is a great app to have in your travel arsenal.

Transit App

Best US transit apps for iPhone: Transit App

Transit App supports almost all major US cities — as well as a few internationally —and focuses on letting you plan a trip with transit. Not only can you search for directions right at the moment you need them, you can choose a future time and then choose the best option. Not only is Transit App carefully thought out, it's one of the easiest transit apps to interpret. I've also found it to be one of the most accurate when it comes to transit times. You don't even need an internet connection to check route schedules.

If you like to check transit times or plan long before you leave home, Transit App is a must.


Best US transit apps for iPhone: Moovit

Moovit supports many large metros within the United States and typically provides both bus and train system suggestions. You can also ask Moovit to minimize walking time to a specified distance if you need to. I've found Moovit's descriptions and directions to be a little more detailed and show more at a glance than other apps. This can make it a little easier to navigate for those not familiar with an area.

Moovit is ideal for anyone who needs great detail or wants to minimize the amount of walking they need to do.


Best US transit apps for iPhone: Citymapper

Citymapper actually only services New York City here in the states but it's one of the best transit apps you can get for that particular area. No matter how you want to get around NYC, Citymapper can get you there. The thing that draws me to Citymapper when in New York City are the beautifully designed maps that are easy to view and pick apart, something every tourist or non-local needs to do from time to time. These maps are applicable for every type of transit. Citymapper currently supports train, subway, bus, walking, and bike routes.

If you are visiting or live in New York City, Citymapper is a necessity.


Best US transit apps for iPhone: Transit

Transit supports a decent amount of US cities and focuses on finding you the fastest route possible. Just plug in where you're doing and where you're coming from — or use your current location — and Transit does the rest. One of my favorite features of Transit however is the ability to create reminders that can notify you to not miss a specific bus or trip. However, the feature is limited in the free version of the app. You can however buy an unrestricted version of the reminders feature for a one time in-app purchase charge of $0.99. Well worth it for those that need to be reminded to stay on time.

If you need reminders to stay on top of catching a bus or train, Transit is a good option.

Your picks?

If you try one of the transit apps listed above let me know how it works for you. If you have another favorite, one I didn't list, let me know what it is and what makes you like it!

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • Ally, I was using HopStop (which Apple subsequently purchased). It was a fantastic app, but they suddenly and inexplicably removed Vancouver, Canada (my home) from the selections. I've asked why but received no response. In the meantime, I switched to the Transit App. I find it does the job and has a nice interface.
  • I didn't include it because it's so erratic and had lots of what looked like legitimately bad reviews. It also crashes for me a lot. Sent from the iMore App
  • Huge omission to leave out iTrans, specifically for NYC Subway: In addition to working with or without an internet connection, it is the >only< NYC transit app that lets you know which of the gazillion exits is the closest to where you're going. For those who use the NY subway system, it's an invaluable time-saver.
  • Not an omission. It'll be in the NYC roundup ;) Sent from the iMore App
  • Great -- the app could use an update, like being able to name your Bookmarks and the iconbar at the bottom of the app often disappears, usually when switching back to the app via multitasking. Regardless though, I try them all, but always go back to iTrans.
  • Ouu, where is the NYC roundup?!
  • I've been using the Transit App as far back as Sep 2012 (when Apple Maps made its debut). It's always been a decent app in terms of UI and the latest iOS 7 update neither add not detract from what's already a good transit app. I tried Google Maps' transit, here in Toronto (Canada). The information is the same as Transit App but presented in a way that makes no sense to me. Perhaps the most frustrating apps from Google. Sent from the iMore App
  • There are some very good, city specific transit apps around, but my special tip is MetrO. This free app supports public transport services in hundreds of cities all over the world and works completely offline, so even if you're in another country you won't incur any data charges. The UI needs a face lift but the app has been a life saver for me in many unfamiliar places, from Madrid to Tokyo. (Disclaimer: I don't work for them, just a happy customer!)
  • I was about to recommend this one too. I've been using since my Palm Pilot days and love that it has such a huge data base of transit systems. For a frequent traveller this is a great free app that is kept up to date.
  • Apple maps plus transit app has been my go to. My favorite part of transit is being able to see what's nearby. And around here it works on metra, CTA and pace Sent from the iMore App
  • How about Transit times+? I love the real time tracking feature.
  • I like TransitTimes+ because the developer answers email and adds my requests and suggestions. I also use the Embark Caltrain, BART, 511 Transit, VTA Bus, CaltrainMe, Muni+ and the Transit app. One of my favorite transit web apps is Sent from the iMore App
  • Seattle residents should check out OneBusAway. There isn't anything better for this area; period.
  • Thanks for all the awesome suggestions! Will look at each and every one. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Hi Allyson, have you heard of TripGo? It's one of my favourite apps, I've been relying on it heavily for a while and it's made my life a lot easier. It combines public and personal transport options, so you can e.g. see that it might be worthwhile riding your bike to the train station rather than taking the bus... Their website is here:
  • according to me sygic is also good a good option for transit app but sad thing is that it's only available for android and nokia devices.... you can visit my blog for fresh employment updates in india at :(
  • Nice collection of helpful application for iphone. This all are important to get right transition details. Google maps is also one good app but this post also suggest me details of other good apps like Moovit, Citymapper. Thanx