The 6 Transit Apps Every New Yorker Should Have

Whether it’s by bus or train, via car or on foot, New Yorkers are always on the move.

For millions, a daily commute to, from and around the city is as central to living in New York as grabbing a slice of pizza or catching a Yankees game. But with more than 200 miles of subway tracks, over 300 MTA bus routes and a whopping 2,000 bridges and tunnels throughout the area, commuting isn't always easy in this bustling metropolis. Luckily, there's an app for that — several in fact.

With a little help from these top transit apps, you'll get from A (train) to (Tappan) Zee, and everywhere in between, in no time flat.

City Mapper

Much of the time, getting around this big ol' city requires multiple forms of transportation. Walk to here. Take the subway from there. Transfer to the bus at the next stop. For these complex trips, Citymapper is the perfect app. It’ll tell you which subway to get on, which bus to ride, and what turn to make where. It will even let you know when the next bus or train is due to arrive, and if budget is a factor, it breaks down the price for each option. The app will even show you non-MTA commute options like NJ Transit, PATH, the Ferry and ride sharing options, like Uber and Lyft, with a breakdown of costs. Available on the web, iOS and Android, Citymapper really is the app of choice if you're looking for an all-in-one transit solution.

Exit Strategy

Exit Strategy has one simple goal, to keep impatient New Yorkers moving through the subway system as efficiently as possible, down to telling them exactly where to stand on the platform and which car to get on. Need to hop out at Penn Station from a downtown A train? You'll want to be at the front of the train. Want to emerge at Driggs Avenue from the Bedford Avenue station? Hop on the westbound L train's third-to-last car. The Android lite version of Exit Strategy includes subway station info only, while the iOS version integrates several mapping features, however it is $3.99 on iPhone. Both versions work underground — key to any useful subway app. 


On Waze, your driving commute is viewed as a living, breathing organism, vulnerable to stalled cars, fender benders and plain garden-variety traffic. By crowdsourcing traffic conditions, Waze users keep the entire Waze community updated, noting heavy traffic, accidents, construction and police activity. Download Waze today, on iOS or Android, but remember to keep your eyes on the road, and not on your phone, whenever you're behind the wheel.

Transit App

If you hate waiting at bus stops or train stations, you're about to meet your new best friend. With Transit App you'll get a clear snapshot of all the transit options nearby and their upcoming arrival times. Based on transponder information instead of solely published schedules, Transit App is crazy-accurate, and if none of the arrival times meet your needs, the app also displays the nearest Uber. So, go ahead and enjoy those last sips of coffee before heading out the door. According to Transit App, you've got plenty of time. Available on iOS and Android.

Mapway New York Subway Map

Remember the days of carrying a printed, or even laminated, subway map? Well now, you can kick it old school and new school at the same time with a searchable subway map on your phone. Unlike some subway map apps, this one works offline making it easy to check your route while underground. While online, the app quickly zooms to stations in your area and provides detailed info on arriving trains, system status and station accessibility. Available on iOS and Android.

Google Maps

And then, of course, there’s the venerable Google Maps. Sometimes we may take for granted the genius and convenience of Maps (until something like the Apple Maps #epicfail of 2012 happens), but this web tool and app really does have everything — from driving directions, to public transit route planning, and even finding nearby businesses. Check out integrated street view or Google Earth images if you need visual assistance, turn on traffic data — powered by Waze — to travel the least congested route, and check business hours and ratings, all within a single app. The app offers customization to tailor your experience to your daily routes. Want to see if there's any delays in the morning? Simply open the app and Google Maps has you covered. Available on the web, iOS and Android.

Armed with these great transit apps, you'll be sure to get from here to there in a New York minute.