I was only eight years old the first time I visited London and even at a young age, I knew this city was a challenge to travel around as an outsider. I remember standing with my family in the pouring rain, attempting to hail a black cab to take us back to our hotel. By a London miracle, one lone cab stopped in a sea of already occupied taxis. Back then, no one knew what an app was or would be. Today’s traveler in London doesn’t have to stand in the rain to hail a cab. Today’s traveler doesn’t need to look at an Underground map in puzzlement. Today’s traveler can breeze through the city on a bike, even if they didn’t pack one. There are a number of ways to travel around London. And just as there are many different ways to get around, there are a number of mobile apps to help you do so at no charge.
Barclays Bikes App: The Barclays Bikes app helps you get around London by bike. It is the work of the Barclays Bikes network, composed of 8,300 bikes at around 15,000 docking stations across London. These bikes are available to rent by credit or debit card at one of the docking stations. The free app helps you find the docking stations closest to you. You can also plan your routes around London based on intensity and difficulty. In addition, you can also have the app tell you when your 30 free minutes of pedaling around London are up. The Barclays Bikes app makes for a nice tool for any traveler that wants to get around London by bike. The app is available for the iPhone and Android.
Hailo Black Cab App: No longer do you need to stand out in the rain trying to hail a black cab in London. The Hailo Black Cab app makes it possible to get a black cab wherever you are. Free to download, the app helps you hail a cab with two taps of the phone. The app works with 23,000 of London’s trusted black cab drivers. You can order a black cab right to your location. The app will even tell you how long you will have to wait. The traveler can also pay for their ride with a credit card through the app. The Hailo Black Cab app is available for both the iPhone and Android.
Tube Map App: One of the most common ways to traverse London is its Underground. However, navigating this complicated jumble of tracks beneath the streets of London is no easy task. The Tube Map app from mxData makes the Underground more manageable. It helps you navigate around London’s tube system. The app allows you to plan journeys, find the station nearest you and look at departure times. It also has a feature where you can check the balance on your Oyster card. The Tube Map app is available for a number of devices including the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia.
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