Review of transport apps
London TravelWatch has reviewed of a selection of popular transport apps to see how they compare, particularly with regard to busyness and crowding information. Please see the latest ratings below. To discover how we decided on these ratings please take a look at our rating criteria document where we go through this in a bit more detail.
Google Maps – London TravelWatch’s recommendation
An easy to use, door-to-door journey planner that provides very good and clear information. It is our top pick due to its excellent and accurate real time information that informs passengers how busy stations are and how crowded a Tube or train is in real time, which is fully integrated into the app’s journey planner. Its only shortfalls seem to be around some of its accessibility information, which we have been informed is not always accurate and in it missing some details such as the platform that a train will depart from. If this is important to you it might be best to use it in conjunction with another app.
Although improved since the last time we reviewed the app, TfL Go still has some way to go in providing the same level of real time information on busyness and crowding as Google Maps. The app now has a live indicator for how busy stations are across the network though that does not extend to individual services like Tube trains. It also retains a brief description for when times are likely to be quieter at individual stations, though this is not as clearly illustrated as how Google display this via an hourly bar chart.
The other thing that is likely to frustrate users is that the live information is not integrated into the point-to-point journey planner and instead is only accessible when viewing individual stations, which is not ideal. However, the app does score highly in terms of providing accessibility information and informing passengers which stations are step-free. It lacks some of the detailed information provided on Citymapper, such as the times the next several trains are due to arrive at the platform rather than just the next one, though some may prefer the less busy layout.
No significant changes from the last time we reviewed the app. It is a very comprehensive app which provides information on a broad range of different modes of transport. There is much more detailed information when compared to TfL Go, though some users may be overwhelmed by the number of choices it provides. We have been informed that their accessibility and step-free information is very reliable and that disabled people were consulted on this to ensure that it was accurate. There remains, however, no information about crowding or busy services.
London Live Bus Countdown
No change since our last review. An excellent app to discover how far away your bus is before it arrives at the stop. However, like most of the apps we’ve reviewed, there is no information about crowding at stops or how busy the bus is. There is also no information explaining if a bus is at capacity or whether the allocated space for wheelchair users is already taken up, which could cause a lot of inconvenience.
National Rail Enquiries
No significant changes since our last review. General interface is fairly basic and looks pretty outdated. The information provided is quite limited but adequate enough if users only need to know what time their train is departing and what platform it is due to arrive on. There is information about step-free access and accessible facilities at stations though the user is unable to select a step-free option from its journey planner. We are also concerned that some of the information displayed is out-of-date and has not been updated, which could inconvenience passengers. Again, there is no information provided about busyness and crowding on services or at stations.