No matter what, you’re going to lose an hour on Sunday. But you can make up for lost time if you get a move on. So after you’ve reset your clocks, I have another errand for you: Check the transportation apps on your phone. Besides our free DC Rider app (which you’d better have downloaded by now), here are some new or improved apps worth considering:
When the NextBus DC app died, most people despaired. Jason Rosenbaum designed. The 28-year-old’s creation not only finds nearby stops and predicts real-time bus arrivals, it also displays route maps. That’s made it easier for the Adams Morgan resident to figure out which bus he should be boarding when he’s headed somewhere other than work. “Even if nobody else had downloaded it, it’d be useful for me,” Rosenbaum says. Since it launched last month, it’s already been updated to add favorite stops. On Rosenbaum’s wish list: an Android version and the addition of Circulator bus info.
How do I always know exactly where to sit on the Metro to make sure the escalator is directly in front of me when the doors open at my stop? It’s this year-old iPhone app. Co-creators David Glidden and Andrew Thal recently gussied up the program with a new logo, an updated map and the addition of arrival times. They also changed the cost. The good news is it’s free, and they’ve transformed it into a Web application usable on any device. But after a 60-day trial period, logging in will cost $1 per month (or $2 every three months). To make it worth your money, the duo intends to add more functionality soon — including a locator for station elevators.
This car-sharing service changed how people drive around town. Now, it’s changing how people hail taxis. The app, which has joined forces with MyTaxi, now maps the locations of cabs as well as its cars. The functionality isn’t quite as good as going through the MyTaxi app directly — you can reserve a lift, but you can’t pay through your phone. (There’s another new reason to look at MyTaxi: Last week, the company expanded service to Arlington.)
The original idea was a dating site that set up shared taxi rides. Adam Eagle, a freshman at MIT, thought his pal’s concept had more potential if the goal wasn’t to hook up, but to get somewhere. With SplitMyTaxi, you fill in where and when you want to be picked up and where you’re going, and the app suggests matches to contact. The booking and paying are up to you to figure out (although that may become part of the app soon). One big catch is you have to have an .edu email address to use it — the first target demo is college kids looking to share rides to the airport. For now, most members are in Boston, but Eagle predicts that D.C. will embrace the app. (He was just here and dropped $86 on a cab to Dulles.)