Pro tips for the Citymapper commuter

Almost hidden features that make transport easier

If last week you learned the three basics to use Citymapper with your smartphone, now it's time to get serious. The transport app does a great job suggesting journey plans in London and New York but it's packing so much information sometimes it's difficult to notice everything available. On this follow up post we'll cover some of Citymapper's tricks you never knew were there.

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Even for the new Citymapper user, by now you should be familiar with setting your home and work address, bookmark your frequent destinations and search destinations using shop names. If you haven't, this is my preferred method to use the app as it saves a lot of time so you can focus on the following 'pro tips'.

Citymapper has a really deep menu hierarchy and the ability to jump to sections very easily. While this is great to find specific information, opening so many screens at once can make it a pain to backtrack your steps. If what you want is to start from scratch again on the main menu, simply tap and hold the back button at the top left. Hold is important here, so keep that button pressed until you see the animation taking you backwards.

Starting at a different destination

You might be so used to look up the best way to get to a place that you have probably not realised you can also select the starting point. The search window you are so used to have a tab (conveniently unselected by default) where you can set where your journey begins. This is very useful if you are arriving to a station by train and the app cannot work out exactly where you are.

Set an arrival time

You just want to get somewhere as soon as possible, but what about arriving later? In the results window (the dark blue one) change the time you are leaving. Tap on 'Set Arrival Time' and a date picker will slide up to select the time and date. Once you have chosen the time you want to arrive the interface will now tell you the time you need to leave with a yellow 'Leave by' label. Convenient, right?

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Save and track suggested routes

For journey combinations that involve a bus, the option to Save will change to Save/Track. This is very useful combined with bus arrivals as you will be told when is the next bus arriving to the first bus stop. Any saved journey will appear on the main window menu highlighted in a yellow box and available online. The good thing of saving trips like this is that they will be updated with the latest information the next time you launch the app whereas normal searches won't update automatically.

Put favourites to a good use

Usually overlooked, the star icon on the main menu is a great way to bookmark your most used stations and stops as favourites. Every train, tube and bus stop view has the option to be saved as favourite on the top right corner — the greyed out star symbol is not so evident. Saving these on 'Favorites' will give you easy access and be able to check departure boards without having to navigate to the relevant section.

Latest tube home

There are a couple of ways to get to the same result with similar amount of taps: here I'm using the one I've found easier to describe. From the main menu tap on Line Status → Choose your line → Select a station → Scroll all the way to the bottom. There will be a section called Last Trains - Tonight with the times and the terminus station.

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Tube status alerts via push notifications

Again starting from the main menu, tap on Line Status → Notifications to set up your alert preferences. A purple view will appear allowing you to choose the line you are interested in as well as the times: Commute Only covers weekdays from 7:00 to 10:00 and 16:00 to 19:00. Simply selecting ON will send notifications whenever an unplanned disruption is reported. You can also tweak notifications tapping on the 'i' on the top right corner on the main menu and then Notification Settings.