10 Apps To Get You Through The Tube Strikes

Boris Bikes: thousands of them.

Boris Bikes: thousands of them.

With February’s tube strike fresh in our mind we’ve put together a list of ten good apps to help you cope with tube strike stress. The first five will put you in the prime position to avoid the strikes all together, and the final five will ensure that any hours stranded need not be wasted.

Before we go on, though, here’s some background to the strikes, and why they’re happening.

Apps to help you get around

Up first we’ve got the App that picked up the biggest online praise during February’s strike. Helping thousands of Londoners circumvent strike stress, Kabbee connected stranded commuters with warm taxis across London and won oodles of happy customers. It beats the more alternative Uber, whose price-competing platform led to passengers paying high fairs due to increased demand last time around. Free on Android and iPhone.

For those in their own vehicles, there’s Waze. Founded by some clever Israelis, this app crowd-sources data on the speeds at which other cars are driving, allowing it to give live updates on where strike-swollen traffic has hit. The app will then give you a less traffic-y route for a quicker journey time. Free on Android and iPhone.

Third, we have Parkatmyhouse the nifty parking app that lets you book a parking space ahead of your arrival. The website makes clever use of unused spaces at churches, pubs and people’s driveways to keep parking cheap. Use it to make sure that when you finally do get to your destination you don’t have to head home due a lack of parking. Free on iPhone and Desktop.

Citymapper comes up fourth, with a timely new update. Long heralded as the tool for avoiding travel tantrums, the App will weigh up all transport types to tell you the fastest route. And, if you’re that way inclined, how many calories your particular choice will burn-off (unfortunately, this functionality does not apply when taking the bus). Note that Citymapper, like most public transport apps, uses TfL’s public API. This threw out some unusual data during the last strike — keep that caveat in mind when planning your route. Free on Android and iPhone.

Barclays Bikes brings up the rear of our list with its simple tool for finding unused Boris Bikes and empty drop-off spaces. Use this with Citymapper and you’ll not only have the tools to get around, but will also be making London that little bit greener. Free on Android and iPhone.

It’s not an app, but you might also like to consult this adapted tube map, which shows the sections of lines that should be operating some kind of service, based on information from TfL. It’s made by the people behind the Station Master app, which is good for finding your way around during normal service.

Apps to help in other ways

First to be downloaded should be Join.me. For those with the flexibility to stay at home, this nifty tool will let you host that all important meeting virtually. Just ensure that you turn Facebook chat off, unless you want your client to hear about your dinner plans. Free on iPhone, Android and Desktop

If you do find yourself stuck on a bus/tube/Emirates Air Line that seems to be going nowhere fast, QuizUp pitched as ‘the new Words With Friends’, is an addictive quiz app that lets you pitch your general knowledge skills against those of your friends. First up, when was the last time Boris caught the tube? Free on Android and iPhone.

If you’re interested in competing in this year’s Twitter competition for ‘The Best Picture of Lots of People in a Small Amount of Space Due to Tube Strike’ award. Download Adobe’s new Photoshop Touch app and go straight to first place. Free on Android and iPhone.

Up next is Evernote. The note-taking king isn’t new, but if you find yourself stuck in a queue for a few hours put virtual pen to virtual paper and capture your deepest thoughts. You never know where it could lead — we hear Shakespeare quilled Romeo and Juliet while waiting for a horse and carriage, or something like that… Free on Android and iPhone.

Last up is London’s Best Coffee App, the caffeine saviour for for those of you who find yourself in undiscovered parts of London. This coffee shop finding app will ensure you’re still perfectly placed to find a good flat white whatever the striking situation. £2 on Android and iPhone.

By Reuben Sagar

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  • harry_wood

    We’re running a couple of sites you might find useful:

    http://transportbuzz.com which shows geo-located tweets mentioning train, tube or bus. Just mention those words in a geo-located tweet, and you’ll appear on the map. Help keep each other informed of how things are moving (or not moving)

    http://tube-radar.com which gives scaled indicators of tube performance based directly on real tube running data. Not a simple as TfL’s “major/minor” delays, but those who like a bit of complex performance data visualisation, it might be interesting.

  • http://www.britevents.com Chris Haycock

    Love TransportBuzz, Harry. Very clever.

    We run http://www.traffic-update.co.uk, which usually gets pretty busy during a tube strike. Pretty useful for when times when everyone takes to the roads.

  • http://www.technoduce.com/ jkrish

    I found an application that might be good alternative for Uber. This allows users to hail cabs with tapping this application. http://www.taximobility.com