Transported: The Best Transportation Apps Out There


Welcome to "Transported", our new weekly series about getting places in San Francisco, whether you take the bus or the BART, bike or drive. Come here to find the skinny on secret parking spots, the new bike lanes and how to get across town on Muni without losing your mind.

There are a million smart phone apps out there for hopping from place to place in the Bay Area, so how do you know which are worth downloading? Let us know which you use the most!

UberCab is a free app for anyone who dreams of looking like a baller around town on the regular without needing the paycheck to get there. Play it cool with a cashless, tipless system and instant access to a fleet of sleek black cars like Benzes, town cars, Escalades and limos ("No gypsy cabs here," says marketing representative Austin Geidt) awaiting the tap of your blinged-out finger. You can merely lay on your couch, request a car, watch it arrive to your door, get alerted of the car's arrival and pay on your smart phone. UberCab is working on adding black Pruises to the fleet (their first test ride was a few days ago), and help limo and town car companies stay in business. You can use SMS to text UberCab for a driver, and both Blackberry and Android apps are in the works.

Routesy has a small yet devoted following in the Bay Area for commuters who take Muni and BART. After its legal scuffle with NextBus, it's back with an incredibly user-friendly design and fast info about the nearest transit stops to you via GPS and how soon each line is arriving so you pretty much have no excuse to be late for anything. It's $3.99 and fully compatible with the newest iPhones as well as older ones. Mainly, it's prettier and faster than good old NextBus.

We've written about Cabulous before, but it's since beefed up its armada of cabs and improved the iPhone app's features. Cabulous, which has helped over 4,000 cab-less souls in San Francisco alone, has newly teamed with CityWide Dispatch (Green Cabs, Big Dog, Royal, Metro and Crown cabs) so even more cars and drivers are on the Cabulous system. You can also now "Make Your Own Map" and narrow down exactly which cab companies you want a ride in. Soon, they're spreading to Blackberry and working on a Cabulous app for Android phones.

For those who rely on their feet, bicycles, or mass transit to scoot around the Bay Area, download BayTripper. This free iPhone app developed by a couple of UC Berkeley students gets lazy bums out of their cars by providing the most detailed bikes and bus routes possible. Whether you're an intrepid or scaredy-cat cyclist who either loves or loathes hills, plan a bike route according to what you like. Get real-time bus and BART arrival info, or plan an entire trip over multiple forms of transportation with schedules for everything from Bay Area ferries, Muni, and Caltrain. And if you really need to get in a car, BayTripper will even call you a cab.

Parkzing knows the street cleaning schedules of every street in San Francisco, so no matter where you park the free (for a limited time) Parkzing app can tell you if you're on track for a $55 ticket. Brilliant, right? While you're parking your car, run the app and tell it which side of the street you're on. If you're on a side in the line of a street sweeping vehicle's route, it will send you a reminder of when exactly to move your car. What could you buy with all the money saved on parking tickets?

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