Technology

Transit adds offline capabilities to mobile app

Posted on February 26, 2019

When a user is connected to the internet, Transit’s trip planner is updated with real-time information and users can receive up-to-the-minute service alerts.
Transit
When a user is connected to the internet, Transit’s trip planner is updated with real-time information and users can receive up-to-the-minute service alerts.Transit

Transit app users can now plan transit trips, look up schedules, and get a-to-b walking and biking directions — all without needing a data connection. It’s the first major transit app to provide robust offline features, helping users with limited or unavailable data service.

Whether transit riders are underground with spotty cell phone reception, traveling without a SIM card, trying to reduce usage of their data plan, or don’t have a data plan at all, they can use Transit to navigate their city.

Transit counts millions of active users in more than 175 cities worldwide. Upon launching the app, riders see transit options and departure times in big text and bright colors, including nearby public transit, bike-share, car-share, ride-hail, and scooter services.

When a user opens Transit, the app automatically downloads tiny files containing local public transport schedules and routing information for biking and walking. Using a unique data compression method, Transit has reduced the size of this information from hundreds of megabytes to as small as a few hundred kilobytes.

The data is updated automatically — there’s no need for users to remember to download transit schedules or update their settings.

To speed up the process even further, Transit has precalculated transfer walking times between transit stops, allowing a user’s phone to determine the best trip plan in milliseconds.

When a user is connected to the internet, Transit’s trip planner is updated with real-time information and users can receive up-to-the-minute service alerts. That way, if a bus is running off-schedule, Transit users will be able to find the best connection. When a user is offline, the app relies on schedule information.

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