Get Public Transportation Directions in Apple Maps

Not everyone has access to a vehicle. If you’re part of the car-free crowd or live in or travel to unfamiliar cities often, you’ll be happy to learn that Apple Maps can now make your trip easier.

Using Apple Maps for public transportation directions

If you live in a city, you’ve probably used your fair share of public transportation. Getting from point A to point B is simple enough if you travel the same route daily, but if you’re in a strange city or need to get to a new neighborhood, transit maps aren’t always user-friendly. And that’s where Apple Maps comes in.

With iOS 9, Apple’s latest operating system, Apple Maps has been updated to include public transportation information. So now, in addition to getting driving and walking routes planned out for you courtesy of an app, you can also get point-to-point directions to any subway, train, trolly or bus station. Nice!

How to get directions

Here’s the quick skinny on how to get public transportation directions.

Step one: Open Apple Maps

Apple Maps icon

Don’t confuse Apple Maps with Google Maps! Tap the icon called Maps on your iPhone, which should look like the image above.

Step two: Enter in your starting point and destination

clear out old information in Apple Maps

Maps will likely open with the last information you fed it the last time you used the app. You’ll need to clear that data from memory by hitting the Clear button just to the left of the input bar at the top of your screen (see image above).

hit arrow key in Apple Maps

Once you’ve done that, tap the arrow in the upper-left corner that appears where the word Clear used to sit. This will take you to an entirely new screen where you’ll be telling Apple Maps where you’re going.

travel details

Here (see above) is where you’ll enter in your details. By default, your starting point will be wherever you happen to be standing now. If you want to change that, you can do so by inputting any address or landmark manually. Do the same for your ending location.

As soon as you’ve entered in both locations, your driving directions should automatically appear.

Step three: Choose the transit option

Drive, walk or transit options in Apple Maps

At the top of your screen you’ll have three choices with which you can utilize map your route: Drive, Walk or Transit. Tap on Transit.

more routes option in Apple Maps

The route that comes up will be the quickest was one available, but you don’t have to choose this method of travel. To see additional routes open to you and other modes of transportation (bus, train, trolly or subway), click More Routes on the lower-right of your screen.

multiple route options in Apple Maps

 Step four: Get on your way

Once you’ve made your choices you’ll be taken back to the maps screen. Hit Start at the very bottom of your screen and you’ll be given step-by-step directions to get your destination.

 hit start in Apple Maps

The Apple Maps transit feature does not work in all locations, so be sure to test it out before arriving in a foreign city and relying on the app in real-time. Most major cities are covered, but some of the mid to smaller cities have no yet been added.

Happy travels!

Posted by Jodi Jae on April 7, 2016

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