What's the best DC Metro app lately?
June 1, 2023 8:03 AM   Subscribe

My very favorite app for navigating the DC Metro system, MetroHero, is shutting down at the end of the month. :( Please help me find a replacement--is there anything as good?

My favorite aspects of MetroHero are how it shows precisely what trains are expected and when, for each station (including showing delays or other problems), and also whether it'll be a 6-car train or an 8-car train.

I have deeply enjoyed its commute feature, where I have a page with a selection of the routes/directions I typically take, all updating live, easy to view at a glance. I know whether I need to hurry to a station, whether a line is backed up, what part of the platform to wait at...basically, MetroHero was everything I needed.

What apps work best for you on the DC Metro these days?
posted by theatro to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, that's upsetting. For train arrival times you can bookmark individual station PIDs through the WMATA Next Train interface. That will show you the number of cars and the same real time data that fed MetroHero, although the train number (e.g. #109) won't be displayed. It also lacks MetroHero's rider feedback, for whatever value that had.

For buses I've found that WMATA's own BusETA seems to have a bug and doesn't show some buses that really have tracking data (especially after midnight). Transit does a better job at that, and also lets its subscribers enable real-time tracking that can give you an idea of when a bus without a working transponder may be showing up. OTOH it used to be consistently wrong for train arrivals at the station closest to our home, so even though it's been years since I found that problem I still tend not to rely on it for train info or cross-check it against WMATA's PID data. Also Transit has switched to a subscription model for the full view, and otherwise limits what it shows you. The upsell may be off-putting, but I'm probably still going to end up paying it because BusETA is not reliable for me.
posted by fedward at 8:23 AM on June 1

I also found the official WMATA stuff wasn’t so reliable so mostly I use the public transportation option on GoogleMaps and adjust the results accordingly. Definitely not the best option but good enough for me all things considered.
posted by smorgasbord at 9:42 AM on June 1

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