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  1. #1
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    Seattle Question: Public Transportation App for iOS

    We are making our way to Seattle in early April for a little family vacation. This will be our first trip of using public transport exclusively, taking it from SeaTac to downtown...and then everywhere we want to go. Seattle looks to have an excellent mix of light rail and buses.

    There is an endless list of public transportation apps in the Apple App Store and I'm wondering if there is one that would be best for people like us who need very specific and clear instructions on where to get on/off, terminal instructions, etc...

    Any help would be appreciated. (-; Looking forward to a great time there!

  2. #2
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    This sort of question was discussed in the context of my upcoming Belgium/Germany trip, although many of the answers there are region-specific. But there are some suggestions about Google Maps which may be applicable to your vacation. Overall, I've found this app is very powerful, to the point of telling me where a nearby bus stop is, what the bus number should be, and how many minutes I'll have to wait. Beyond that, there is no harm in downloading any app that covers Seattle and has reasonably good, and recent, reviews. And if you download a schematic of the system that should help. I keep mine in Dropbox.

    Have fun! That is one city I've always wanted to visit.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  3. #3
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    A lot of people I work with in Seattle use "One Bus Away" for bus transit. Taking the train from the airport to downtown is very easy to navigate with or without an app. If you are traveling within WA, the "WSDOT" app is extremely useful, though it is geared more towards driving and has information about ferries, pass conditions, traffic, border wait times, etc. I second @bchaplin's suggestion about Google Maps, since it also offers walking/bus directions.
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions! I have downloaded Google Maps. iOS Maps doesn't have anything from Seattle, surprisingly. I appreciate the help!

    SkiMT

  5. #5
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    I used One Bus Away while visiting Seattle and found it easy and useful.

  6. #6
    TB Crew (we work here) MatthewR's Avatar
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    I'm backing up what everyone else said about OneBusAway. Not only is it cross-platform (i.e.: it's on Android and iOS) it's fairly nice to use and both my wife (iOS) and I (Android) use it daily!

    One note, though: I suggest using either the King County Metro website/Trip Planner (they have a public transit app too but I found it somewhat sluggish on my phone -- YMMV on iOS) or Google Maps for route planning then OneBusAway for actual bus timing. OneBusAway doesn't take into account the bus changing numbers mid-route (like, for example, the 131 Northbound does when it hits Edgar Martinez Dr and becomes the 26) whereas the other two do.

    Edit: Something useful about Google Maps I forgot to mention: while you're out and about if you want to keep a close rein on your data, you can pre-load your phone with offline areas. I always have Seattle on my offline and since I'm going to Rome in April I have Rome as an offline map as well.
    Last edited by MatthewR; 03-01-2016 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Rein like a leash, not reign like a despot.

  7. #7
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    You guys are all awesome! Thanks so much for the feedback! A guy at work told me that he and his wife want us to go on a trip with them because we are so organized and prepared. I didn't tell him my little secret source of information. (-;

    Planning and thinking about the trip is half the fun! My wife and daughter benefit too because I can relax and not being worry about all these little details like getting from point A to B etc...

  8. #8
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    Seattleite and daily bus commuter here, echoing what others have said about OneBusAway. It's what I and my cohort have been using for years, and it's good if you're at a bus stop and want info about when it's coming and where it's going (and whether or not you should be on the other side of the street to catch it going the other direction).

    If you need to know specifically how to get from point a to point b, I use TransitTimes and have been happy with it. It does what the King County Metro browser-based Trip Planner does, but in much more convenient app form.

    Welcome to Seattle! Hopefully you get some nice weather while you're here. Happy to provide additional suggestions if you have questions!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    One app that I forgot to mention: Transit.
    Transit App – Real-Time Tracker & Directions for Bus, Subway and Metro including Offline Schedules by Transit App, Inc.
    https://appsto.re/us/nbtSD.i
    I use it in Boston sometimes, and apparently they cover Seattle as well. If you are interested in it, you can double-check before purchasing it.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

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