(You know, someday I’ll have to explain why my aging Samsung smartphone is better than your brand-new iPhone 4S, you know the one that has that big “Apple” chip inside that’s made by, um, Samsung? My phone cost $40-something, the sales tax was $40-something, the monthly bill is $40-something (plus San Francisco’s rather high tax scheme, which means I’m paying $50-something per month), I talk as much as I want, I download as much as I want (but no texting, texting is not in my plan, oh well, someday I’ll tell you why that’s sometimes a good thing), I have a bigger, better screen, I have a lighter phone, and before the year is up, I’ll get another brand-new phone. And BTW, what’s the Apple “experience” about? Is it the experience of choosing between the unreliable network (AT&T) and the slow network (Verizon)? Why is it that my phone never drops calls and gets double-digit scores on the same test that you see in the previous link? It’s like 11 Mbps indoors in the Financh. That’s like an order of magnitude faster, right? Not that I care, really, but what am I missing but not paying extra for an iPhone? The phone I have is faster, better, harder, stronger than any iPhone. And, as a bonus, it’s way cheaper. Just saying.)
Sorry iPhone owners, the Only Bay Area Transit App Worth Having isn’t out yet for Appleland, but you Android users should step right up and type “511 transit” into your “Market” icon thingy.
MUNI sucks, of course, but 511 Transit works awesome with MUNI. Try it and you’ll see.
All the deets:
“GPS-Based Trip Planning Available for more than 30 Bay Area Transit Agencies
OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 22, 2012 — The Bay Area’s 511 traveler information system is now offering its first smartphone app for transit users. The free 511 Transit App is a multiple-agency public transit trip planner using GPS-based location tools for smartphones. Ideal for a daily commute, weekend errand or occasional trip, the app serves both residents and visitors who are planning transit trips within the nine-county region.
“We are pleased to offer this unique and powerful tool for transit riders in the Bay Area,” said Adrienne J. Tissier, chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). “Now you can use one app to plan trips on more than 30 public transit agencies, accessing the most complete coverage for the San Francisco Bay Area.”
The free 511 Transit App can be downloaded through the Android Market (search for: 511 Transit). A version for iPhone 4 will be released soon. The new app provides door-to-door transit trip planning and scheduled departure times for transit routes near your location or from a location you specify. It includes information for 720 routes and more than 23,700 transit stops throughout the region. An interactive, dynamic map shows routes and stops along the way, as well as your current position while on the move. Walking directions to and from stops and fares (including transfers) are also displayed.
“Smartphones and on-the-go trip planning are becoming increasingly common, and 511 is now extending its Bay Area transit planning tools to these faster, more compact platforms,” said Tom Spiekerman, 511 Transit project manager. “Currently, 511 customers plan more than one milliontransit trips per month using the popular website version of the 511 Trip Planner. The new app brings core features of this tool to customers on the go.”
Additional app features include:
— Recently viewed locations and trips are saved automatically, as well as
— GPS positioning enables users to set their current location as a
starting point for a trip, or to find nearby stops and transit routes
with scheduled departure times.
— The app incorporates transit agency announcements that may affect a
511 Transit App customers are able to provide feedback on the new app by clicking on the “Help/Info” button to send an email to the 511 Team.
The new app complements numerous options people already have to access 511 traveler information. Smartphone and other mobile phone users may access many of 511’s most popular features through the mobile 511 site (m.511.org), by calling 511 from any Bay Area phone, or by receiving real-time transit Departure Times texts (SMS). Desktop users can access the information from 511.org.
The 511 Transit App includes data from SF Muni, BART, AC Transit, VTA, SamTrans, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, County Connection, Vallejo Transit, LAVTA, Sonoma County Transit, VINE (Napa County) and more than a dozen additional agencies. For a complete list of all transitagencies included in the 511 Transit app, please visit the trip planning page at 511.org.
For more information, please see the 511 Transit App for Android Fact Sheet.
511 is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic, transit, rideshare and bicycling information. It’s free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Call 511 or visit 511.org. 511 is managed by a partnership of public agencies led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol, Public Transit Agencies, and the California Department of Transportation.