Want to know why you need transportation apps in NYC? The city may be physically small—Manhattan is just 2.3 miles across—but getting around can be tricky, especially with the busy lives we all lead. And even the most seasoned commuters can fall victim to the likes of subway delays, tough commutes, and inebriation. Cue the apps: From on-demand rides to taxi-paying apps and traffic navigators, here are 12 downloadable ways to get yourself to the best New York restaurants, the best NYC attractions and the best art museums in NYC—all at record speed.
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Best transportation apps for New Yorkers
When Hopstop (RIP) went off the Apple Store, New Yorkers turned to Citymapper, a transit app that combines several different modes of transportation, including walking, subways, cars and bike shares to optimize your trip-planning process. The instructions are incredibly detailed, going as far as telling you with subway exit to use to get you that much closer to your destination. Because every second counts in a New York minute.
Get the app: citymapper.com
Also known as The Taxi App, this quick and handy tool saves you the hassle of swiping your card at the end of a ride. Simply hop in the cab, select Pair & Pay, and your card will be charged afterward. Available in New York as well as Miami, Las Vegas, Boston and Philadelphia, the app connects you to more than 100,000 licensed cab drivers in each city for convenience and safety.
Get the app: gocurb.com
It’s always helpful to get a heads up about traffic and road closures. This crowd-sourced GPS app aggregates community input so you get a real-time look at what’s happening out there before you get stuck in a sticky traffic situation. Waze keeps you abreast of accidents, notifies you when you’re speeding and plays music via a Spotify plugin.
Get the app: waze.com
Heading out of town and want to drive your own car? Zipcar, a car-sharing app, offers you thousands of cars in New York City, which can be rented at an hourly rate. Pickup and drop off are 24-7 and there are multiple locations in the city, making flexibility a huge bonus. Pro tips: Weekday nights have the cheapest rates, and businesses with a tax ID number also get a discount.
Get the app: zipcar.com
Yellow cabs have finally gotten with the times and are now floating around the digital universe with this straightforward app. Arro is a free platform that allows you to hail a taxi without having to do any physical labor; it also features digital payment and regulated pricing. Plus, the availability and arrival times are pretty fast, so give it a try next time you’re feeling nostalgic or old-school.
Get the app: goarro.com
Juno is a rideshare app that prides itself on top-rated drivers, excellent round-the-clock customer support via phone, text, and email, and a current beta discount offering riders 30 percent off until further notice. On top of that, all of Juno’s drivers are partners in the company, so it’s safe to say they’re valued and treated well, a comfort to any rider.
Get the app: gojuno.com
Lyft is taking NYC by storm with its unmistakable light-up dashboard emblems, new ride scheduling feature and general philanthropy, currently giving riders the option to round up their fare to the next dollar in support of worthy charitable causes. It’s also got a dedicated Trust & Safety Team and insanely high driver ratings, so you can rest easy on every ride.
Get the app: lyft.com
Among the cheeriest (and most cost efficient) of the bunch, Via is a sunny ride-share platform that has somehow gotten the carpooling system down to a science. Cars are prompt, drivers are lovely, the service is commuter-friendly and the marketing is playful and on point. Rides are as low as $5, and best of all, you can now take Via to the airport.
Get the app: ridewithvia.com
Every New Yorker should really Gett this app. (Sorry.) This black car and ride-share app is available in over 100 cities across the world, is free of surge pricing at all times, has a future booking option and features reliably firm quotes always. What more could you ask for?
Get the app: gett.com
If you travel internationally, Moovit may be your best bet. With over 2,000 cities and counting in its database, it offers a world’s worth of optimized transit—including trains, subways and walking—to get you from point A to point B, wherever that may be. The app has tons of additional cool features and fun facts, including a get-off notification that makes sure you don’t miss a stop, a real-time bus locator and a customizable profile that saves your favorite locations for one-tap access.
Get the app: moovitapp.com