Visiting a new city and want to travel like a pro? Well, this is now possible if you own a smartphone. Among the plethora of apps available on the app stores, there are several localised apps that will help you conveniently travel in the metropolitan cities of India. We have listed some apps for five metro cities, namely, Mumbai, Delhi, Banglore, Kolkata and Chennai. Some of these apps can be used no matter which city you live in, while several apps are customised to suit the travel needs of a particular city. Let’s look at the five metropolitan cities and how mobile apps can make commuting in these cities easier.

Ensure a cabbie doesn't fleece you

Ensure a cabbie doesn't fleece you

Firstly, when you enter a city via train or plane, you need a taxi/auto service to take you to your desired destination. To ensure that you don’t get fleeced, there are several apps designed to calculate the distance and fare you need to pay. fare-O-meter is one such handy app for Android users that gauges the distance in real-time using GPS and calculates the exact fare. This app supports popular Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Banglore and Kolkata, and can be downloaded for free. Moreover, Google Maps has now added the Live Traffic feature that lets you keep a tab on traffic in cities like Banglore, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and more. A similar free iOS app is A-Rix Meter that starts calculating the fare depending upon the distance travelled and calculates the exact fare. The app performs quite well in Mumbai.

Delhi
In Delhi, travelling by metro is quite convenient. Those who are new to this mode of transport can use apps like the Delhi Metro Navigator for all the necessary and relevant information. The free app will help you calculate the fare for your journey and offers a detailed Delhi Metro map with support for the Hindi language. The app doesn’t require an Internet connection, and you can also view the map offline. Whether you are a daily commuter or new to Delhi, this is the best app if you are travelling via metro. It will help you calculate distance, fare and suggest where you need to change the train by marking the route and so on. If you are a tourist and an iPhone user looking at places in and around Delhi, then leverage on this handy New Delhi Travel Guide. This augmented reality guide shows several points of interest and how to get there, for a price of Rs $2.99 (approximately Rs 173).

Delhi Metro Navigator

Delhi Metro Navigator

The DelhiCity Transport app is yet another helpful app to commute across Delhi. This too isn’t free and will cost users Rs 110. This app works without any Internet connection and calculates your bus and metro route. It also offers details about each metro station and line, with up-to date metro routes, metro map including upcoming metro lines and stations. It covers the DTC bus networks in Delhi and NCR region with details about each bus stop and bus route. The bus route calculator helps find indirect routes using multiple buses showing the shortest possible route with all alternatives. It also has a auto/taxi fare calculator. On the other hand, Android users get a similar free option in the form of the Delhi City Navigator. It is an all-in-one navigator to commute in Delhi. It shows all necessary information required to commute by metro, bus, auto/ taxi services and so on. It lets you search for buses that run along a particular route and vice versa, auto/taxi service numbers and fares, an offline map and other travelling details about the metro.
 
Mumbai
If you are in Mumbai, then m-indicator can be your one stop-shop for all commuting woes. From Mumbai local train and bus routes to auto/taxi fares and theatre and picnic spots, the app has got it all covered. You can check which buses run on a particular route or key in the source and destination to check the route of a particular bus. The Auto and Taxi sections let you check the fare/night charge and also provide all the necessary RTO and other complaint numbers. It provides the complete train network – Central, Western, Harbour and Thane-Vashi. It can check ticket rates, rail map and even mega block alerts. Moreover, it provides information about trains near Mumbai such as Dahanu-Panvel, Neral-Matheran and also Diva-Roha. The app has an alert service that informs users about train mega blocks. This is a free app available for both Android and iOS users.
 
Dislike crowded Mumbai trains or buses and prefer travelling by auto or cab? In that case you have to ensure that the autowala or taxiwala doesn’t take you for a ride. Amidst the several apps, the Pay Rite Fare is a cool Android option that calculates the distance and the fare once you sit in a rickshaw. In addition, it also includes a button for waiting charge, in case you plan to stop by on the way for a quick errand. This app works for autos and taxis in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Some more free apps for Android include the MumbaiSub if you want to look at the train time-table, while WhatsFare Mumbai Auto and Taxi gives you a handy fare card in case you want to check the fare per distance.

makes commuting in Mumbai a cake walk

Makes commuting in Mumbai a cake walk

A very cool option for iPhone users in Mumbai is Mumbai On The Go, which offers a free lite version and also a full version for Rs 110. The lite version lets you search for trains on an hourly basis, provides auto and taxi fare (old and new fare), and lists all the bus numbers and routes area-wise. The full version brings additional features such as searches by area, bus stop and checks the route a bus follows. It has two-level switching for destinations without a direct route. It brings all the information neatly under one view and the UI is very simple and easy to use. 

Bangalore
Bangalore is a well-known IT hub in India and numerous freshers and students flock to the city, which is well connected with several bus services, metro and auto/cab facilities. If you have to sketch out a road route by making several permutations and combinations, then the free Bangalore BMTC Info app is very handy. The app covers several services such as Vajra, Vayu Vajra, Suvarna, Pushpak/Volvo, Atal Sarige, Big Connect, Big 10 etc. You can enter the route (source and destination) to find buses that run along that route, enter the source and destination to find how to get there via buses, subscribe to SMS functionality, and more.

Commute Bangalore is yet another free app that will bring all buses that run between routes. It lets you select a bus number and shows each stop that the bus halts at. If you plan to travel by the Bangalore metro, then quickly download the Bangalore Metro Navigator. Just like most of the other apps, you can check fares, parking fee info and offline route map with this free app. Moreover, all this can be done without the use of Internet. The app shows a detailed offline map and a colour-coded route planner. One of best free apps for iPhone users looking for bus routes is Bangalore City Transit. The app lets you search for all bus routes between any two bus stops in Bangalore and provides bus routes with connecting stops. It also shows route information in the form of a list and maps, and provides other information about the Bangalore public bus system.

Kolkata
If you are in the City of Joy aka Kolkata, then there are a slew of handy apps that you can download. Firstly, those who want to travel comfortably without the worry of probably getting fleeced by the driver, can use free Android apps like Cool Kolkata Cabs and Taxi Fare Calculator. The Kolkata Cool Cabs lets you find and compute taxi fares; it has a fare chart and has all traffic and control room helpline numbers and email addresses of Kolkata. The Taxi Fare Calculator is a free Android app for the yellow taxi, which shows the complete fare chart, predicts the fare depending upon the location/distance and calculates the fare efficiently.
 
iPhone users will find the Kolkata Metro app quite handy with features such as easy search and navigation, complete route information, multiple changeovers with station listing, complete map, detailed Metro map, number of stops and fare display, and a locate button that shows which station is close to your location (using GPS). iPhone users can complement the commuting apps with this Kolkata Offline Map Travel Explorer that brings all Kolkata-travel and POI-related information under one roof. However, it is a tad expensive at Rs 270.

Kolkata Metro info in your palms

Kolkata Metro info in your palms

Chennai
Chennai appears to be really limited with apps for better commuting. If you plan to travel by MTC buses, then the MTC bus route free Android app is fairly helpful. Just enter the bus number and the app generates a list of bus stops and route map. It uses Google Maps (requires Internet) and has the train schedule too. The app isn’t really swift and web services “metrocommute.in” or “busroutes.in” would be a better option. Though Chennai has a lot of share-a-rickshaw services, if you happen to travel in the one that works by meter, then the Chennai Auto Rickshaw Fare app will be very handy. Sadly, we didn't find any apt iOS app for bus routes or auto fares. However, the Chennai Suburban Train Timings app is fairly decent, which can be used without the need for any Internet connection. The Chennai Map and the Chennai taxi service are also decent apps to use.

Google Maps is a great way to find out routes and check for alternate routes. There are apps like Map my India, which also provide turn-by-turn direction. The live traffic available for select cities is a good option to avoid traffic jams, and we wish the full-fledged Street View enters India soon. In a  nutshell, though limited, there are enough apps that will help you commute in these cities without any hassle.

Image credit: Getty Images

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