Smart Cities

App Review: Cowlines


App Review: Cowlines

Cowlines is a unique travel app that goes beyond simply showing you the options for walking or driving to a destination. Instead, it gives you all the options and makes it possible to arrive faster than ever to your destination, even if you are combining different modes of transport.


How It Works

Cowlines takes your current location and your destination and plots a travel route for you. However, it doesn’t just give you a line to follow through the city. It actually makes it possible to use multiple modes of travel to reduce time spent traveling and to help you prioritize what is most important to you.

For example, if you are looking for the fastest route, Cowlines has it. If you need the cheapest option or just want to reduce your carbon footprint, that’s all in there. You can even focus on a specific mode of transport if you prefer.

Modes of transport include:

  • Bus
  • Subway
  • Tram
  • Ferry
  • Bikeshare
  • Carshare
  • Rail
  • Cable Car
  • Ride-hailing
  • Taxi

Cowlines takes things a step further by plotting your journey and then calculating the total cost. You can turn off modes of transport you don’t want to use and see exactly how much the cost will be before you even set out. During the trip, the app also calculates your carbon footprint and adds multiple trips up so you can keep track of all your CO2 emissions over time.

If you’re new to an area and not sure of how you can manage to do ride-sharing, bike rentals, and walking, the app will take you through everything step by step. You can even see a trip summary once you’ve arrived. From there, it’s possible to track your trip history with all the various trips you’ve made.

Want to see how much better your method was than driving to the location? You can compare everything from calories burned to time and cost of the trip you took with Cowlines, vs. a trip in a private car. You may be surprised at how much you reduce your carbon footprint, just by changing a few small things. It’s also a great encouragement to get out and try the bike rental programs and similar that are in your area. If you’ve been putting off trying them out, then this is the perfect time and way to use some new methods of transport.

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Where Is Cowline Available?

The app is frequently updated, but at the time of this writing, it was available throughout Canada and the U.S. To be more specific, Canada has it up and running in major cities, including Toronto, Hamilton, Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec City, Calgary, Victoria, Ottawa, Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, and Thunder Bay.

In the U.S., you can use the ap in Austin, San Antonio, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans, NYC, New Jersey, Orlando, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC, Ann Arbor, Baltimore, Atlanta, Boulder, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kansas City, and many others. New cities are frequently added to the app to ensure as many people can use it as possible. In fact, according to the creators, they are constantly improving the program and adding new places, as well as fixing any glitches that may come up.


What People Are Saying About Cowlines

One of the best ways to see if an app is worth your time is to look at the reviews. When it comes to Cowlines, the reviews are somewhat mixed, with a definite lean toward the positive.

Alexandra says: “An efficient way to plan your multimodal journey using local transportation options, while also tracking your CO2 emissions!”

Some folks are disappointed with the multimodal option. As tubbsdh says, “I was so excited to use this app but was disappointed to realize it’s multimodal, but without the option to use my car.” However, at the same time, others like Nasim_Vancouverite are thrilled: “Liked the easy and intuitive interface and the fact that it gives you all the options available with available pricing.”

In short, if you’re looking for an app that does what it says: finds your routes to get to your destination faster and with a lower CO2 footprint, Cowlines is exactly what you need.

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Apps Similar to Cowlines

There are a number of travel and route-plotting apps out there. However, if you’re truly looking for something like Cowlines, you want an app that can look at multiple modes of travel. Similar apps include:

  • Moovit
    This app makes it possible to travel using multimodal travel and provides the ability to pay for fares through the app. It also has real-time transit information for public transportation. It has been described as a coaching tool to help insecure people take transit and widen their world.
  • Migo
    With a whole range of transport options available on the single app, you can instantly see which options have wait times and select the fastest choices possible. Even if you generally don’t look at apps for bike rentals or taxi sharing, Migo will give you prompts for them so you have all your options available to you.
  • Transit
    This app is similar to the others, helping you navigate your commute without having to use private transport. Instead, it enables you to use public transit and get to your destination in the most efficient way possible.

There is certainly no shortage of options when you want to get around a major city. Cowlines and similar apps make it easy for you to focus on the journey, instead of stressing about how you’re going to get there. Add in the possibility of reducing your carbon emission and saving time and money and you have a winning combination. Remember that Cowlines is only available on Apple, so you need an Apple product such as an iPhone in order to make it work.



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