Travel apps for commuters


IF late-running trains and Tubes are the bain of the modern communter’s life, at least there are apps which mean you don’t have to get as far as the station to be updated on your travel.

Mxdata, for instance, aggregates all the live local travel data (live tube updates, traffic CCTV cameras, train departure boards) and publishes it for your iPhones, Androids or the web.

Leaving aside the fact that train departure boards are usually pure fiction, let’s examine two online services they offer mobile users.

London Tube Map gives live train status updates on a map that you can scroll around and zoom in and out of. Look, there’s a jobsworth leaning against a machine, reading the paper, while a queue builds up at the barrier.

TrafficTV warns you of traffic on your route, shows how fast traffic is travelling through busy sections of the UK road network and lets you see CCTV images of traffic. It also gives you speed camera locations, which helps make your journey cheaper.

Chromaroma, from Mudlark, is another interesting option. This company realises that your journey across London can seem a bit of a game, and has created a system that caters for the challenge that every journey represents. You can embark on missions, collect items and gain points for your accomplishments.

My recent mission was to try and get the man at the barriers at Waterloo to apply some common sense, collect some support from the policeman he had summoned and get my Oyster credits restored. This being a real life mission, I failed.

Chromaroma’s game is not that true to life. But it’s a work in progress, so please contact them and help them create a more realistic narrative.

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