What’s the Best Smartphone App for Checking Muni Arrival Times?

4008110431_1b1f84127f_o.jpgRoutesy Bay Area. Flickr photo: torrez

As most San Franciscans with a smartphone know, having access to real-time arrival information while you’re away from home can make taking Muni a much more pleasant experience. That will be true more than ever if 10 percent service cuts go through as planned.

Ideally, there would be no need to check when the next bus or train will arrive: Service should be so frequent that you can simply show up and expect to hop onboard within a few minutes.

But with some overnight bus service set to come just once an hour, and with plenty of Muni lines already pushing the comfortable limit for waiting, we thought it would be a great time to look at what the best options are for looking up arrival times while you’re away from home.

So, Streetsblog readers, if you own a smartphone, what’s your app of choice for looking up Muni arrival times? And if you’re using a regular cellphone, how’s the 511 service working out for you? If not for NextMuni arrival time data, would you ride Muni less?

Personally, I’ve been using Routesy Bay Area for the last year or so, with great results (aside from the stretch when an intellectual property rights skirmish forced the application to temporarily go offline). I’ll also supplement it with the official NextMuni website from time to time. Of course, there are times when arrival time data is simply off — or when cell phone service is spotty. That’s when it’s clearer than ever that nothing substitutes frequent service.

We’ve put together a list of Muni arrival time apps for iPhone and Android — some are free, and some will cost you between $1 and $6 (let us know the ones we’ve missed). As for which is the most reliable and pleasing to use, feel free to have it out in the comments section below.

iPhone apps
BayTripper (free)
Go To There (free)
iCommute SF ($2.99)
iCommute SF Lite (free)
Mapiz (free)
metroNOW! ($1.99)
MuniApp ($1.99)
MuniApp 2 ($0.99)
MuniMe ($5.99)
Pocket MUNI ($0.99)
Routesy Bay Area ($3.99)
SF Tracker ($0.99)

Android apps
AnyStop: MUNI (free)
Bay Area Transit Tracker Pro ($2.75)
Bay Area Transit Tracker Pro (free)
Droid Muni (free)
Muni Locator ($1.99)
MuniAlerts (free)
San Francisco Muni Plus ($1.99)
Wait For It… (free)

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