Android App Review: AT Public Transport

Auckland’s public transport has gone through a few changes over the last few years, at least some of them for the better.

Its new status is never better summed up than in the AT Public Transport app – which, while not broken, doesn’t live up to what it could be.

The app attempts to replicate what you find on the AT website – a journey planner, information, timetables and so on. For the most part it does give you these things … eventually. The app is infuriatingly slow, and while I’m happy to concede that it’s got a lot of information to process, plenty of other apps manage to do it without so much lag.

The Real Time Board, which tells you which buses are due at a particular stop, works so long as you know the number of your bus stop, or at least its address.

This is fine if you’re already at the bus stop, but if you’re trying to plan ahead then you’re left in the cold a bit. There’s an option that I think might let you select your bus stop off a map, but this is either broken or I’ve misunderstood because I couldn’t get it to work.

The journey planner works the same as it does on the website which is to say it works well enough. Again, it’s not as quick as I’d like it to be but it does at least work – type in where you are, where you want to go and when, and the app will tell you which bus to catch and where to catch it from.

This is probably the most useful part of the app so it’s a relief that it does what it’s supposed to.

There’s an updates section which just takes me to a blank screen. Is that because there are no updates at the moment? Or because there’s text missing that I should be seeing? I have no way of knowing, which does nothing to reassure me.

The last section of the app is contact information, including the numbers to call about lost property, graffiti etc.

Although there isn’t specifically a number to call to vent your rage about late buses and faulty apps, there are the details for the call centre if you want to have a whinge to them. But let’s be honest – they work for AT, so they probably already know.

The AT Transport app isn’t broken. It does what it’s supposed to do, and if you know how to work with it you’ll probably get by okay. But it’s slow, and awkward, and here and there it’s a bit unreliable. It’s Auckland’s transport, in an app.

If I was you I’d avoid this app and stick to AT’s website, which seems to avoid enough of these problems. Avoiding Auckland’s slow buses and erratic timetables might be a little trickier though. Sorry. There’s probably some taxi apps out there you could look into?

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