What cities failed in their public transport

Have a good trip with 8 apps for buses and trains

Dirk Bongardt

Those who use public transport rarely have all the transfer options and departure times in their heads. A number of recommended apps will help you find the best connections.

EnlargePublic transport - timetable information

Getting from A to B by public transport is always a challenge: In the countryside, the transport network is thin, in urban areas it can be confusing. The network maps are hard to read through, and bus drivers simply do not have time at peak times to explain when and where to change to which bus to get to your destination. Even with everyday crisis management in the event of delays and complete failures, you can expect little help.

It's good that there is a whole range of apps to guide you through the world of public transport. Together, these apps cover a wide range of functions: They help you plan the route, point out possible delays and help you with cashless ticket purchases.

Moovit: Bus, Train, Subway Info

EnlargeMoovit: Bus, Train, Subway Info

The Android app “Moovit: Bus, Train, U-Bahn Info” helps you use local public transport in parts of over 60 countries.

How do I get from the Tegel S-Bahn station to the Olympiastadion on Sunday? Which lines stop at Potsdamer Platz and when? The Android app “Moovit: Bus, Train, Subway Info” answers such questions. In Germany the app only covers the urban areas of Berlin, Heidelberg and Ulm, in France and England there are at least ten urban areas each, and in the USA we were able to count 74 recorded regions. For the time being, foreign travelers and residents of the aforementioned cities in Germany will benefit from the app. In the areas it covers, the app also offers pedestrian navigation that takes the user safely to the next stop.

Map, plan and navigation

The user can orientate himself with the help of an overview map (which is also displayed if there is no connection data for the current location), with the help of a timetable that is calculated after entering the start, destination and intended time, and with the help of timetables on which the arrival and departure times of the various lines can be found.

Practical: If the user knows a better connection than the one shown to him, he can report it to the operators directly via the app.

The app is intuitive to use and the design is functional.

Conclusion on the test of the Android app "Moovit: Bus, Train, U-Bahn Info"

This local traffic navigation system can only be used in a few cities in Germany, but is definitely useful for globetrotters.

Pro: crowd-based route recommendations

Cons: Can only be used in three cities in Germany

Overall grade: 2.45

Functionality (45%): 3.00

Operation and support (40%): 2.00

Design (15%): 2.00

German-speaking, free of charge

Public transport - timetable information

EnlargePublic transport - timetable information

The Android app “Public Transport - Timetable Information” shows stops and calculates bus and train connections in almost all of Germany and 15 other countries.

Information on local and long-distance connections by bus and train is provided by the Android app "Public transport - timetable information", which after installation appears three times as "Public transport stops", "Public transport network maps" and "Public transport connections" on the Android device. The user first defines a suitable transport network. Then he can display the stops nearby and calculate connections between two addresses or get an overview of the city networks.

Choice of transport networks is crucial

The connections can easily be calculated within a regional transport network. The situation is different if a route - for example near the border of the federal states - uses the lines of two transport networks: When choosing the overarching transport network "Germany", we achieved fewer results than when choosing the regional transport networks concerned. The app shows the calculated connections clearly, the user always knows when he should be where.

The design is clear and functional, and handling is intuitive.

Conclusion on the test of the Android app "Public transport - timetable information"

Public transport is almost indispensable for intensive bus and train users. It is not the app's fault which connections the transport companies expose you to in individual cases.

Pros: Very high coverage

Cons: Occasional crashes

Overall grade: 1.70

Functionality (45%): 1.40

Operation and support (40%): 2.00

Design (15%): 1.80

German-speaking, free of charge

DB train radar

EnlargeDB train radar DB train radar

Users of the Android app "DB Zugradar" have an overview of all Deutsche Bahn train connections. The app shows the route network and the approximate position of all trains on a map.

Where is which train at this moment? The “DB Zugradar” Android app provides an answer. It shows the Deutsche Bahn route network on a freely scalable map and dynamically maps the positions of the corresponding trains on it. Depending on the selected scale, the movement of the trains can also be seen more or less clearly.

The downside: The display is not based on GPS-based location determinations, but on real-time forecasts. For each move, the app also shows how it is in time.

Stop information poor

In addition to a visual search on the overview map, the app also offers the option of tracking trains using their train number and displaying which trains are departing from or arriving at a particular stop after a selected time.

In the test, however, the latter option often failed with the message “Unfortunately, no data is available at the moment”, even if the map display showed how a train rolled into the station in question. So if you are waiting for your train at the station, it is best to take a look at the map.