Our roadways and car parks are so busy these days. We’re lucky to have a range of transport apps to make driving, parking, and public transport easier. But you might be wondering which ones will give you the best minute-by-minute traffic updates, reliable directions and parking availability.
Here at Parkhound, we are in constant awe of the software that makes getting around easier and safer. So, we put together a guide to some of the best transport apps in Australia’s busiest cities. Whether you’re a daily commuter or a tourist trying to ease the stress of driving in an unfamiliar landscape, these transport apps are sure to make your driving experience simple. And – yes, we’ll even say – enjoyable!
Transport apps you can enjoy anywhere in Australia
We’re going to start off our best transport apps with a few that you can use anywhere in Australia. If you’re looking for an easy public transport, fuelling, parking, or general trip planner app, you’ll want to make sure that these are at the ready:
Waze – Just a few years ago, you might have been hard-pressed to find Aussies who used or even knew of Waze. But this Israeli-born navigation app has since climbed to the #4 spot in Australia’s list of most popular apps. What has made this cartoonish interfaced app a rival for Google Maps and Apple Maps? Well, for one, it has been known to sprinkle in celebrity voices. It also offers up more information on traffic, accidents and shortcuts than other navigation apps.
Moovit – Moovit is your one-stop public transport trip planner app. Wherever you are in Australia, you can get real-time information on bus and metro schedules, as well as important roadway updates. When you enter your current location and your destination, it will provide public transport options, estimated travel times, and info about fares.
Fuel Map Australia – Planning a road trip? Then you’re going to be relieved to know that there’s an app to show you all of the petrol stations – and their fuel prices! – across Australia. Not only will this crowd-sourced database give you up-to-date information, but you’ll also be able to track your fuel usage and nerd out with price history graphs.
Parkhound – We all know the frustration of driving around in circles looking for a parking space. The Parkhound app takes the hassle out of parking by connecting drivers with parking space owners all over Australia. On the app, you can search for parking in your destination, be it in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or another parking-competitive city. Then book and pay for your ideal parking space ahead of time.
NSW Transport Apps
These apps are all about simplifying NSW traffic, making them popular with long-time residents and tourists, alike.
Opal Travel – While there are a few nsw transport apps available, this is the official NSW sponsored one. In addition to the navigation functions that you would expect from a transport app, you can also use the Opal Travel app to manage your opal card transactions. You can also report a lost or stolen card, and track your weekly Travel Reward progress.
Abil.io – Abil.io was the brainchild of disability advocate Jessica Smith. She wanted to make public transit more accessible for everyone living in NSW. The app gives users information about nearby accessible stations and walking times. It also has alternative routes in case users want to avoid hills or obstructions of any kind.
Snarl – If you’re looking for NSW transport apps to make your morning commute easier, Snarl is the way to go. It gives you live Sydney and suburb traffic and incident reports so that you don’t get caught in unexpected traffic. And we should mention that although we’re highlighting this under NSW transport apps, Snarl is quickly branching out to cities in Queensland and Victoria.
Melbourne based transport apps
Public Transport Victoria App – Commonly known as the PTV app, this official Melbourne journey planner app offers a list of features: train, tram and bus trackers, station facility data, disruption and delay notices, and of course, navigation help. The PTV app can also be downloaded as the PTV ScreenReader app for vision-impaired users.
Mobile Myki – Okay, this isn’t really a unique app as much as a feature of the Public Transport Victoria card, Myki. By making the Myki mobile, Android users can now manage their Myki through the Google Pay app. Features include checking balance, adding credit, and turning the Myki on or off in the case that it’s lost or stolen.
arevo – Journey Planner – arevo is a version of the PTV app that intends to be more streamlined and user-friendly. And even though it’s also free, this Melbourne journey planner can boast of reviews like, “100 percent more helpful and easier to use than the actual ptv app.” And it goes beyond public transport – arevo includes options for walking,cycling, and driving, as well as discounts from partners so that you can arrange car or bike shares.
VicTraffic – Say hello to the VicRoads official traffic app, with real-time footage of Melbourne and surrounding areas, roadwork notices and the latest updates on special events and traffic incidents. We will admit that there are plenty of online reviewers with suggestions on how to improve the app, but if you’re looking for reliable, real-time info, VicTraffic is a go-to trip planner app.
Some tips on how to make these transport apps work for you!
Sometimes, dealing with apps behind the wheel is more of a nuisance than a benefit. Outdated software, connectivity gaps, and confusing interfaces are some of the common culprits of travel app issues for drivers. Here are a few ways that you can maximise the helpfulness factor of your apps:
- Download and set up your trip planner app long before you get on the road. Transport apps will often try to make their app more convenient by guiding you through a personalisation process. You definitely don’t want to skip this step! But you also don’t want to be updating your home address and prefered routes while you’re battling morning traffic. So sit down and personalise the app before you get in the vehicle.
- Get familiar with the app. Many of us would like to simply download an app and have everything about it be user-friendly and intuitive. But that’s not always the case, and even the best designed transport apps still take some getting used to. So, after you’ve done the personalization process, give yourself a bit of extra time to learn how the app works. That way, you won’t put yourself at risk for distracted driving or lose valuable time while navigating public transport.
- Anticipate connectivity issues. Some of the apps that we’ve mentioned here, like the Public Transport Victoria app, do not have offline functions and require an internet connection. If you have your data turned off for the app, then, or you’re not connected to WiFi, you may lose out on valuable information. It’s a good idea to iron out these details ahead of time, either by making sure that you’re in a WiFi zone or checking that you have enough data to run the app.
What new transport apps will you download?
Are you most excited about the public transport apps? Finding the perfect trip planner app? Prepaid parking apps to take the hassle out of parking in the bustling business district? We’d love to hear about which of these transport apps will help you while you’re traveling!