5 Free journey planning apps worth getting

We all use tools to help us plan our daily travel such as looking up a street in a Melways, typing an address into a navigation system or checking out a train timetable online. There are also many journey planning apps available that can plan your commute for you or help you make an informed decision about how you travel. Whether you want to know what your transport options are to a particular destination or the best route to drive to avoid heavy traffic, there is an app to help you out. We’ve picked out 5 we like using to share with you.

Screen shot of the TripGo map app

1. TripGo

The most comprehensive multimodal journey planning app currently available in Australia. This app covers pretty much all transport options on offer include public transport, bike riding, walking, driving your own car, using a car share vehicle, riding a motorcycle and catching a taxi – all in real time. You can even connect your smartphone calendar to the app and it will plan your journeys for you.

Once you’ve entered in an origin and destination for your journey, you can then sort through your options based on the arrival time, shortest duration and cost. The app also shows you the CO2 emissions for each trip and the number of calories you will burn. If you choose to cycle, it will highlight the sections of the route that are off-road and those that are on-road and where possible, will try to keep you away from on-road traffic.


2. PTV

This is a great app for those who catch public transport. The app allows you to plan your trip from start to finish and combines all modes of public transport to get to there. You can set it to remind you of your journey. It has real time information for train, trams and buses, shown in countdown mode. It also provides detailed information on train station facilities as well as all the locations of myki retail outlets. You can even see any service disruptions and cancelations for metropolitan trains.

Screenshot of the Waze map app

3. Waze

Waze is a crowd sourced traffic and navigation app. It has real time traffic and road information such as hazards, traffic jams and accidents, which have been submitted by an online community of users. it provides you with a range of route options that take into account time, journey length and cost. You can also see the cheapest fuel based on community-shared fuel prices. You can use the app passively – just to get from a to b – or you can join in with the community aspect of it and contribute to the map by reporting traffic jams and other incidents.


4. Citymapper

Citymapper is similar to TripGo but only includes public transport, walking, bike riding and Uber. It does have one feature that TripGo doesn’t – telescope. Telescope allows you to see places before you go there such as bus stops, train stations and even addresses. It gives you a 360 degree view of the area so you can familiarise yourself with the places you’ll be travelling to in advance.

5. Spotcycle

If you use Melbourne Bike Share then this app is definitely worth having. It shows you the location of all Melbourne Bike Share stations, and how many bikes are free at each station as well as how many spaces are available to dock your bike, making getting around by Melbourne Bike Share so easy. It also shows the bike paths nearby to make your ride as safe as possible.

Overview of trip planning apps

Here’s a quick overview of the apps.

These apps are only a handful of the great trip planning apps available. What journey planning apps do you use to help you get around?(Cover image source: http://www.istockphoto.com/au)

Written by Dominique Torpy, Public Transport and Mobility Officer
January 30, 2017