Savvy passengers: My top 5 London travel apps

By John Acton, Managing Partner for Passenger Services at Telefónica UK

With so many apps on the market, we are frequently encouraged to download the ‘best app out there’ but how are we meant to know which ones truly fit the description? Which app will become impossible to live without and which will be a waste of 69p?

After a summer of travelling, I started thinking about the apps that are out there to assist people when they travel. Particularly in London, what apps can help passengers be more savvy and make the most of their time in the city, whether visiting or commuting. Which ones really add value to their journey?

So, with that in mind, here’s my list of the top 5 London travel apps…

The all-rounder: CityMapper
CityMapper is probably the app you need to find your way around London. It’s a free all-in-one app that covers live departure information for almost all modes of transport between various locations. Not to discriminate against health conscious travellers, CityMapper also gives you information on cycle and walking times.

For a more private journey: London Taxi and Car Booking Apps
For the times when you just need some privacy or peace and quiet in the big city, I like to use London taxi booking tools like the Addison Lee app. Cash payments can be a thing of the past, so no more searching for a cash machine beforehand. Plus, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Some of them even work via the Apple watch.

For the fitness enthusiasts: Santander Cycles
The Santander Cycles App is free and allows you to take the healthy approach to exploring London. The app shows you the availability of bikes and routes to the nearest docking station. From there you can rent a bike using your phone and cycle away into the sunset.

The must have for Londoners: Tube Map
This is what I consider to be one of my ‘old reliable’ apps. Tube Map is a brilliant tool for both locals and tourists. The days of being confused by the intricate map of coloured lines are over. Tube Map not only gives clear information on which lines to take, but also provides line status as well as timings for the first and last tubes from any given station. It can help you navigate your way through London’s vast underground labyrinth but still lets you know when walking might be the best option.

For the newbies: AroundMe
Finally, AroundMe. Although this is not necessarily a ‘transport’ app it is great for when you want to try something new in an unfamiliar area. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat, go shopping or watch a match, this is the app for you. AroundMe uses your location and a handy filter to highlight where the closest cafes, restaurants, bars and even petrol stations are. The essential app when you want to explore.

These are my top 5, but what are yours? Let me know by tweeting @actonjohn or to see how O2 is improving the passenger experience, visit our website.