Transit App on Android: Usability.

What is Transit?

If you live in a large urban city, you either have a car, or take public transit. Of course, many people who live in Toronto use the TTC to get around. However, there are cases where you end up stranded for waiting for a bus without knowing the schedule. Thankfully, there is Transit, and now we are going to look at how Transit helps users get around the city of Toronto and surrounding areas including York and Peel Regions.

How does it work?

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In my area for example, there are multiple transit systems that operate. It was great to have different colours representing the area’s transit routes. The Green represents the TTC Express Buses, the Red represents the standard TTC bus service, Mississauga’s MiWay is represented by the colour Orange, and Brampton is represented by the purple colour. The app also has a partnership with Uber for those who are unable to wait for the bus.

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As shown in the example above, the user selects the nearest bus stop closest to them. In this case, I have selected MiWay Transit Route 22. It is color coded Orange, to distinguish from other transit systems. The entire bus route is also viewed by GPS via Google Maps.

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A new feature that has been added called GO, which guides you through your bus travels. There is a computerized voice telling you to wait for the bus stop, select destination, and when your stop is coming up.

 

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When planning a trip that connects through  multiple transit lines, a grid view of the connections are displayed. In this example, the app is telling user the best possible route from my location which is take the bus 191 express to Kipling Station, then take Bloor-Danforth 2 Line towards Pape. It also tells you the walking distance from the point where you get off the train, and the final destination, where it calculates the total travel time including walking distance.

Problems

All in all, as a person who relies on public transit, the Transit App is a must have for anyone who needs the exact time for when the bus or train arrives at the stop. Although, there are some minor inconveniences. For instance, some local buses have a delay of 3 minutes on arrival. There are also instances of where some buses arrive too early, and the travel at the bus stop has no idea that the bus has already passed the stop. Thus, this leads the traveler to be left stranded . I have personally experienced the delays on the 22 MiWay bus, and sometimes on the 96A bus east towards York Mills.  The App also takes a huge toll on battery life of the device if not closed properly, but it is manageable if you clear the app on your device. Weather and traffic delays can also be an issue if the transit system has not updated their response time for when the bus is intended to arrive. Lastly, on Android if the app is not updated to the latest version it can crash, and you have to restart the App. I don’t know if the issue exists on Apple IOS.

Final Thoughts

To conclude the Transit App has saved me time and effort especially when I am travelling to an unfamiliar area, and it tells me which route is the most direct to travel on. The Transit App is based on location, and you can use it in any major metropolitan area. I used it in the San Francisco Bay Area and I felt this prevented me from getting lost in the area. From a user’s perspective, it is very simple to use and easy to navigate. I highly recommend the Transit App for anyone who relies on public transit.

 

 

 

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