Master SF transit schedule with iBART Live

Riding the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) trains are an essential part of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you live there or plan to visit, iBART Live can help you get around a bit easier. Its best feature is real-time updates about train status that can make a difference in mauvering throughout the city.

There are two versions – a free iBart and the $3.99 iBART Live. For the extra money you get real-time arrival information (especially useful if you are as impatient as I am) and the ability to save favorite trips and stations. If you are planning a short trip to the Bay Area then the free version may suit your needs. But the live updates were pretty cool, and I thought well worth the few bucks for the upgrade.

The best feature of iBART Live was the ability to get real-time departure and arrival information from specific stations. It helps if you are rushing to catch a train and want to find out if you should break into a sprint or wait for the next one. There also is a pretty good trip planning feature; visitors will enjoy this as it can tell you what stops to take or what color train to get on in order to maneuver through the San Francisco Bay Area. Information for each station is also individually – tapping on the address pulls up a Google map of the station. The only pain is that you have to leave the iBart Live app to view the Google Map – but it was nonetheless a very cool feature to include. The iBart Live app also features include a system map, which you can pinch and pull like any page in Safari.

The map and other features are also available offline, which can come in handy given that AT&T’s service can get especially spotty in many of the BART underground stations. Another section provides service advisories to be aware of. The “more info” tab gives links to important BART and emergency phone numbers, which could be quite handy if you left your computer bag on the train.

BART offers a mobile site with some of the same information, but it is nowhere near as organized or easy to access as iBART Live.

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