One of the biggest features in iOS 9, Apple’s new software update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, is the addition of public transit directions in Apple Maps.
Other mapping apps, like Google Maps and City Mapper, have had public transit directions for years. But this is the first time that Apple Maps, which the company rolled out disastrously in 2012, has provided directions for buses and subways.
For now, Apple’s transit directions only work in a handful of cities — Baltimore, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington DC, and parts of China.
But if you’re in a city that’s supported and you use a bus or subway, Apple Maps might replace Google Maps, as the main app you use to get around.
In a city where Apple Maps provides public transit directions, like New York City, you'll see available options, like subway stations and bus stops. Apple has done a good job of clearly labelling subway lines with their respective colours.
To use public transit directions, just type in where you want to go and select the new 'Transit' option next to 'Walk' and 'Drive.' At the bottom of the screen, Maps will suggest the quickest route to get to your destination.
If you tap the 'More Routes' option at the bottom of the screen, you'll see a list of other ways to get where you're going.
Maps integrates with organisations like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the body that oversees New York's public transportation, to show delays.
When you start a route, the app will guide you to the stop. Swipe left on the written directions at the top of the screen to go to the next phase of the journey.
Maps tells you how often a subway or bus departs from each stop. Apple has done detailed mapping of subway stops to help you visualise their layouts.
Maps will tell you where to exit your stop, which is super helpful if you're not familiar with the layout of a station.
There's another way to see public transit near you in the Maps app. When you're typing in a destination, tap the blue 'Transport' bubble.
You'll get several different kinds of transportation options, including nearby stations and bus stops.
Tapping on an individual stop will show you when the next bus is arriving and how often it departs. You can also see delay details and start a route to the stop.
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