When you need to get somewhere quick and suddenly realize you’ve forgotten your bus pass, apps such as the recently launched eTix become essential. These helpful downloads make it easier for commuters to get through a fast-paced day without needing to plan ahead or carry cash (or scramble for an ATM).
If you’re constantly looking for ways to bypass long ticket lines and seamlessly add value to your transit account, check out the following apps:
MTA eTix (New York)
You’re running late for work, coffee splashing on your shirt as you sprint. You need to make the train in time for your meeting, which you may have forgotten your notes for. No time to worry now, though, you’ll figure it out once you’re seated . . . but the line for tickets is out the front door. You realize you’re going to miss the train.
This scenario is one many New York commuters know all too well—but it’s now a thing of the past. Recently, the MTA launched the eTix app to serve Metro-North and the LIRR. Now you can buy your tickets right from the app without going to a Kiosk. You can pay right from the app using Masterpass, plus you can check schedules and get updates about delays.
Best of all, refunds are handled within the app, meaning no more calling 511 and sitting on hold for 45 minutes!
Maybe you’ve decided you just can’t wait for public transit this morning, or perhaps you left your bus pass on the table along with your meeting notes. It’s pouring rain outside, and everyone is trying to hail a cab, but you simply pull out your phone and use Curb.
Available in 65 cities around the United States, Curb employs fully-licensed, insured taxi drivers. You can book your cab within the app for door-to-door service without needing to worry about surge fares. You can even pay within the app—typically the quickest option—and you can use MasterPass to eliminate the need for cards or cash.
If you’ve ever driven in a city, you know how difficult it can be to find a suitable parking spot. Some spaces are free, while others must be paid for—and many have confusing time restrictions. If you’ve ever had to run out of a business meeting or social engagement to feed the meter, downloading the Parkmobile app can change your life.
Once you’ve set up a free account, you can use the software to manually choose a parking space (you can also enable the automatic GPS functionality), select the amount of time you want to park for, and pay simply by hitting a button. If link your Masterpass account to Parkmobile, you’ll never have to deal with loose change again. Best of all, if you’re running out of time, you can use the app to remotely feed the meter—no more racing back to beat the parking enforcement officer.
If you’re a city dweller, chances are you don’t own a car. This makes grocery shopping, day tripping, and buying housewares virtually impossible. Enter Zipcar, a car-sharing network that allows you to reserve, drive, and drop off cars whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you. It’s all done with your phone and membership card, so there’s no need to speak with an attendant, carry ID, or even fill up the fuel tank.
Wanderu (North America)
A journey on a bus or train is usually a pleasing experience, but the planning phase can be a headache. Comparing prices with 20+ browser tabs open while you try not to punch your computer is never fun. Luckily, this frustration can be eliminated altogether with Wanderu, which compares hundreds of companies and routes to find you the best deal with the least hassle. You can book your trip right in the app, and its blog features helpful city guides and transport tips.