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6 mobile apps to help you get around South African towns

Public transport and mobility is big business – as is evidenced by the recent arrival of many transport-focussed apps and services. Whether you want to hail a private cab or simply find the best bus route from here to town, you can bet there’s an app for that. Or at the very least a mobile service that lets you log in with your browser.

The mobile web is making us more mobile, bringing to our fingertips information on transport schedules and easy access to taxis. To help you keep abreast of what’s out there, here’s our list of the six mobile apps you can use to get around town, whether it’s for work or play.

2013-10-10-16.09

1) Uber

Feel like a night out on town for a special occasion? Uber’s classy cabs have you covered. Use the app (AndroidiOS) to hail a cab from your current location and then use it to track the driver’s progress. Payment is also handled through the app – and you can even split fares with friends.

 

2013-10-10 14.56.542) Zapacab

This completely local service has partnered with local taxi companies to give you a safe and secure ride. No app download is needed – simply visit the Zapacab website, let it pinpoint your location, and hit the button to hail a cab. It asks you for your number (so that you can get a text message when the driver arrives). You can follow progress on the map, but payment is handled as per usual.

 

2013-10-10 15.15.423) Snappcab

Snappcab marries some of Uber and Zapacab’s features. Download the app (AndroidiOS), use it to hail a cab, and track the driver’s arrival on your screen. You get to see a photo of the taxi driver on screen, so you know you’re getting into the cab you’ve called, and you can use the app to pay for trips with your credit card.

 

2013-10-10-16.124) FindMyWay

We wrote about this one recently – a great way to keep track of public transport schedules. If private taxis aren’t your thing, this is what you need. Trains and bus schedules all available in a single app (multiplatform). It lets you plot your trip and keep track of departure times and costs, too.

 

2013-10-10 15.21.525) GoMetro

Like FindMyWay, GoMetro lists bus and train schedules – but does so with a bit more granularity, providing information such as trains running late and previous announcements for the line you’re using. It all operates within a mobile browser, so you won’t need an app or a fancy smartphone to get to where you’re going.

 

2013-10-10 15.58.306) Awayto.be

Score one for the little guys: Awayto.be was developed by one man operating from his shack in the township of Alexandra, in Johannesburg. That’s a great “garage to greatness” story for something this beautiful – it’s far more elegant than any of the other apps here, even though it’s not fully operational. It’ll get you certain bus, taxi and train routes, but often suggests the best solution would be to walk. Perhaps a sign that Jo’burg needs better public transport.

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