Tom did a guide for Android, and now I’m doing one for Windows Phone. While we have constantly mocked Windows Phone for having some very sub-par applications, there are little gems that are really brilliant. So, here are some of the top applications – both web and mobile apps – that will help you get around Melbourne’s transport system.
At least it’s a bit easier to understand than Sydney’s own transport system.
Tom loves this app on Android, and I love it on Windows Phone.
It’s really useful to quickly find the next train approaching the nearest station – something that can be pretty handy if you are in the city and want to do a bit of quick exploring before the train arrives. You can even filter out lines to simply focus on your train line home, and even set reminders.
Train Trapper for Windows Phone, however, does not show any alerts on whether it has been delayed or cancelled. However, there are other avenues to find this out, such as Twitter or simply by walking up there and take the connecting bus service.
The big important thing is that it is free (and has no ads). You can download it here: http://tgau.co/ttwp7
What’s a Melbourne Transport roundup without anything to go around our trams. Simply put, TramFinder is Train Trapper for trams.
What I like about this is that it will find the nearest tram stop for you – plus its route and how many minutes is the next tram will arrive. I also like how it overlays the path on a map so you know where you are going. If you need to find a stop not near you, simply move around the map and find one, search through the numerous routes or even type its name.
It is beautifully designed and is easy to use, and is one of the rare apps that doesn’t start with the traditional Metro pivot design. It just takes you directly to the map, and tries finding your nearest stop.
Again, it’s free and has no ads overlaid in the app. You can download it here: http://tgau.co/tramwp7
While the design is not the best and it is pretty basic in functionality, this is a good app for small journeys around the city and suburbs if you don’t know the area.
Melly Journey is basically the journey planner on the Public Transport Victoria’s website. I’m guessing that it connects to PTV’s database and plots a journey from one spot to another using buses, trains and trams. It will give you estimated times and where to walk from and to. Think of it like a GPS for walking.
Because it’s using PTV’s database, it does require you to be really exact. However, it does give you some options to make sure it does get a result from the PTV’s database.
Like I said, it’s not the prettiest and has some flaws, but it’s good if you need to plot a journey. You can download here, for free: http://tgau.co/mellywp7
Metro Trains Mobile Website
The Metro Trains mobile website is the place to go if you need to know the overall status of the network. It’s pretty useful only for that purpose since it wants to redirect the timetable feature to the crappy-coded PTV’s mobile website, or to the Metlink/PTV iPhone app – which, for obvious reasons, won’t run on your Windows Phone.
The overall status, however, is pretty necessary information if you are a Melburnian. Metro Trains has had a pretty rocky start with its network, and while it has eased back to normality, there are bound to be a couple of hitches along the way.
You can access it on their website: http://m.metrotrains.com.au.
Yes, I do know the image is from Android. The website will still be the same – minus some slight alterations because it is a different browser. But the same functions will still be there.
Image above: Ryk Neethling/Flickr (Creative Commons)