How to Get Public Transit Directions in Apple Maps on the iPhone

Let Apple Maps help you plan your bus, subway, or trolley trips with directions for public transportation.

 How to Get Public Transit Directions in Maps

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you regularly take a bus or subway, or are planning a trip where you intend to use public transit, this article is for you. In certain cities, states, and countries, you can view turn-by-turn directions for bus, subway, and other modes of public transit. 

Related: How to Share Your ETA with a Contact in Apple Maps

How to Get Public Transit Directions Using Current Location

Public transit makes getting from one place to another easy, and Apple Maps makes this process even easier. Route options are multi-modal, which means if you want to go to the airport, Apple Maps may suggest you walk two blocks to the nearest bus station, travel to a subway station, and from there travel to the airport. As you can imagine, this is far simpler than attempting to map this out yourself. To get directions for public transit:

  1. Open the Maps app.

    Open the Maps app to get public transit directions
  2. Enter your destination in the Search bar.

  3. Tap Directions

  4. Tap the Transit icon at the top of the route card.

  5. Tap Go on your preferred route to begin turn-by-turn directions.

If your selected city doesn’t have real-time transit information, you can still get a lot of useful information from Apple Maps. In these cases, I can tap a bus or subway station on a map, and the card at the bottom of the screen will display upcoming routes and departure times for that station.

It's a simple process but it opens up worlds of convenience when using public transportation. If you liked this tip, you may want to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter to see more ways to make your iPhone and other Apple devices more helpful and useful in your daily life.

How to Get Public Transit Directions Using a Different Starting Location

In some situations, you may want to change your starting location to be different from your current location. I often do this as a quick way to check the distance and estimated drive time between two destinations I plan on visiting. To change your starting location:

  1. Open the Apple Maps app on your iPhone.

    Open Maps
  2. In the search bar, enter an address and tap Directions.

  3. Maps will assume you want to travel from your current location. Tap My Location to change the starting location.

    Starting Location
  4. Enter your ‘From’ location to change the starting point.

  5. Tap Route.

  6. Select Go.


Now you're able to search for and customize your public transit routes in Apple Maps.

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.