Technology

How To Survive Without HopStop

older-man-on-subway-platform

We are in a state of mourning. Life might never be the same – at least, when it comes to getting around town.

Last night, users had their final experience with the transit directions service HopStop, which has been guiding locals and visitors around NYC since 2005 and 300 other cities worldwide in the years since then.

The deceased app and website have helped millions with their clear, step-by-step directions from Point A to Point B, but after Apple bought HopStop two years ago and folded it into its own Apple Maps with iOS9, HopStop’s neck was on the block. As of October 30, the app no longer functions and the website displays this message:

hopstop RIP

Please, a moment of silence for our dear departed friend — then check out Senior Planet’s picks for your new navigation tool, the best alternatives we can find for this new age HopStopless era.

Ratings, based on accuracy and ease of use range from 1: You might get very lost, to 5: You’ll never get lost.

Google Maps Transit

Simply enter the address for where you want to go, and Google will show you all of the routes. You can pick an icon for your preferred mode of transportation —bus, train, foot, bicycle, cart — to pull up directions and estimated travel time. Tip: The first option Google offers up is the fastest one.

Why you might like it

Google Maps Transit is fairly easy to use given how feature-rich it is, and there’s a step-by-step help page if you do get lost looking for directions. And since there’s a desktop version, it’s there for you even if you don’t use a smartphone. Best of all, you can see all of your options on one map — including shorter and longer routes for each transportation method — and if you’re feeling lazy (or achy), you can choose to see see which mass transit route involves the least amount of walking. We also like the Schedule Explorer feature, which shows you how times of day/traffic might affect your journey. Plus, Google makes it easy for you to email yourself your directions or print them. 

WheelyNYC

We are going to go on record and say it: Even with the fare hikes, “train traffic” ahead and weekend issues, New Yorkers are blessed with one of the best mass transit systems in the world. That is, unless you have a mobility issue or like to carry very heavy loads as you travel around town.

That’s where Wheely NYC comes in. Developed by Anthony Driscoll, an MFA candidate at Parsons School of Design who saw how his dad with MS struggled to get around, this app helps you plan your journey via accessible stations. The pointers continue once you’re out of the subway, too, with notes on nearby places (cafes, stores) that are accessible.

Why you might like it

This app not only tells you whether a station has an elevator; it also lets you know if that elevator is actually working. Because the MTA likes to hide its elevator entrances, the app even shows you a photograph of the one you’re looking for and gives directions to it. Too bad Wheely is only for NYC!

CityMapper

CityMapper is very similar to Google Maps, but has better real-time mass transit updates. An added bonus: It gives you expected weather conditions for your destination.

Why you might like it

If you find less crowded screens easier to handle, you might find CityMapper’s interface a little bit more usable than Google Maps’.

Moveit

MoovIt has an even cleaner design than CityMapper’s and offers pretty much the same features as Google Maps. Bonus: It’s available in several foreign cities, so makes for a great travel companion. The app also shows you your closest subway station — a big plus when you’re lost — and tells you when you can expect the next bus to show up. (It does the same for subways, but those times might be wildly “estimated.”)

Why you might like it

You can contribute to the daily data by sharing your public transportation experiences, and you’ve got to love crowdsourcing — by the people, for the people. We also like MoovIt’s little mascot-like logo.

Embark

The best thing about Embark is that it is fast and works even when you don’t have an Internet connection — maybe it’ll help you figure out why your train is stuck in the tunnel.

Why you might like it

For those times when simple is better than bells and whistles, this app wins. The customized trip option is detailed without being overbearing, and Embark gives you just one option — the fastest one.

Good luck!

Oops! We forgot Apple Maps – but then, that app is just HopStop reincarnated.

Is there another transit app that you find helpful? Share your choice in the comments below.

Or join a video discussion about this topic on Chumbuggy.com!

COMMENTS

3 responses to “How To Survive Without HopStop

  1. In my humble opinion… Apple, Inc. is ruining this world and couldn’t care less for the planet or the people that inhibit it. Their only care is for the all mighty dollar , euro , yen , or any other currency they can get their greedy little hands on. The saddest part is that our youth are lining up in droves to empty their pockets into Apple’s lap. Hopefully – and someday soon I hope – the mighty will fall. Apple is exhibiting signs of a disease I coined the “PanAm Syndrome” where they don’t care about you because they don’t have to… “We OWN the sky’s and we are way to big to fall… ” said the last CEO of Pan American Airways just months before the deliberate destruction of PA103 which spelt the beginning of the end for the once mighty giant of the sky. Apple’s fall is inevitable now that they have proven they have forgotten who truly pays the bills – the customer.

    Thomas L Morris – NYC

  2. The only bus choice was a regular bus. No help with Express bus.

    Hop Stop included options for bus, train, and Express bus. I got instructions for the Express Bus, the QM12, which stops right outside my apartment building in Forest Hills, NY 11375. to 57th St. and 3rd Ave. NY and a connecting bus M.31 , which goes down York Avenue to my final destination , 523 East 72nd. St. NY 10021.

    I did not remember what number the Manhattan bus was, so I looked up the map for the campus for the Hospital for Special Surgery, which is close to the office building for the HSS surgeons.

Leave a Reply

Senior Planet’s comments are open for all readers/subscribers; we love hearing from you! However, some comments are not welcome here as violations of our Comment Policy. If you would like to express a comment about Senior Planet locations or programs, please contact [email protected].

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *