Commuting sucks and commuters are relocating to the big, shared transportation-focused cities to ease the strain commuting takes on our moods, our patience and our wallets. Dense development and mixed use neighborhoods help you get closer to the modern conveniences you love. It’s great when you can find an apartment right next to a grocery store and just down the road from a park, even better when you’re close to work; however, most of the work force commutes to some degree and, true to modern technology, there are apps for that.
Have you ever wanted to try public transit in your area only to find the routes and schedules are far too confusing? Next time, take a look at Google Maps instead. Enter your location and destination and Google Maps will tell you how to get from point A to point B. You can also select the public transit option to see what routes and schedules will work for your commute. Another great app for your phone which has similar features is the aptly named Transit App. While Google Maps offer walking and driving directions as well, Transit App is focused on public transit options, routes, and directions.
There are three apps taking the lead in the ride sharing space – Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber. With each of these apps you can offer your services as a driver or just hop in a car when your plane lands in a new city. The biggest drawback to ride sharing with Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber is that they are only available in major cities. Once you get outside these major hubs, you’ll have to look for a ride on Craigslist or Ridejoy. These sites allow people to post rides and connect with other people going their way.
Two of the biggest players in the car rental app business are Zipcar and RelayRides. These two services take different approaches to the car rental concept. With Zipcar, you can rent a company owned and maintained vehicle for a few hours or a few days. Run your errands for a day or take a trip to the beach for the weekend. You just reserve the car online and pick it up at a parking space in town.
RelayRides takes a different approach using privately owned vehicles. You could even list your own car for other people to rent. It’s more of a social sharing site with individuals renting their own cars to other people with RelaryRides facilitating the transaction.
A third option would be a regular car rental company or a short term lease. These are the best option for people that will need a vehicle for a few weeks, but don’t want to make a long-term purchase. For example, if you live on the east coast but you need to spend a couple months working on the west coast. Rather than drive your own car there, you can hop on a plane and pickup a vehicle for short-term use when you arrive.
By far, the most commonly used app for finding cheap gas is Gas Buddy. Before you go on a trip you can check the gas prices along your route to find the best deal. You can also search stations around you using the mobile app on your phone. When you do stop to fill up, it’s important to take the time to report the price you paid using the Gas Buddy app. This data is shared with other users so they can find the best deal in town.
A new form of GPS navigation is beginning to emerge and the Waze app is leading the way. Social navigation takes advantage of the GPS data shared by other drivers on the road to route you through traffic in real-time. This means that when traffic grinds to a halt a few miles ahead of you, Waze receives data from other drives that are already stopped on the interstate. Rather than keep you traveling into that mess, you’re automatically routed around the incident and on to your destination.