NextBus

If you’re a transit user (I generally love transit here in Toronto. At least on the TTC, I can study during my commute in, so even if there’s bad traffic, I can make good use of my time), then the Nextbus iphone web app is a life changer (for those with smartphones that don’t have a proprietary app, the website provides most of the same information and features transit info for a number of different cities in the US and Canada. This information is of course checkable from your computer as well so long as you have an internet connection).

I’m actually not joking, when I say it’s a life-changer: this app has improved my quality of life in a significant way, by allowing me to minimize my wait times for the buses and streetcars. It does this by providing real-time updates on when you can expect the vehicle to arrive.

Another additional, supremely useful, piece of information provided by the app consists of little arrows, indicating where the buses or streetcars are, along the route you’re looking into. This of course means that if there are a whole lot of streetcar arrows clustered in a row further back along the route, you can assume there’s an accident and take a different route. Similarly, you can see if you’ve just missed your bus, and check back along the route, in order to make an informed choice about whether to wait for the next one or move on.

It may seem like minutiae, but on a miserably cold or rainy day the fact that you can walk down and only wait a few minutes in the nasty weather can make a real difference to how you view the rest of your day (dry shoes, non-soaked pant legs, etc.). Similarly, being able to make note of delays and decide on alternate routes can also make a difference in preventing the commute from eating up a ridiculous amount of time, particularly if you live near a few alternative routes that you need to decide between.

(Aside: sorry for the long lag time in posting more reviews–school has kept me swamped for the past few months. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to posting here more frequently once the semester is over… at least for a little while. I do have many apps I’d love to review–I’m as incorrigible as ever in that regard!)