The Transit App, the app that provides real-time transit information on iOS, enjoyed a boost back when Apple cut transit out of its own Maps app during the switch from Google to its own in-house navigation and mapping service. Earlier this week, the app went completely free and offered some great updates, including real-time estimates of wait times at stops for select markets, and now it’s seeing another big spike in demand.
The Transit app has accrued over 35,000 downloads in the 72 hours since releasing their version two app for free, to general praise from reviewers and customers alike. That download spike has also helped the app’s ranking in Apple’s mobile software marketplace, propelling it to #4 in the U.S. Navigation category charts, and driving it up to #12 overall and #1 in Navigation on the Canadian store. Transit says it has over 20,000 active daily users, and that number is likely to increase as it has already loaded on a bunch of new users.
Transit is part of Montreal-based accelerator FounderFuel’s current cohort, and FounderFuel’s GM Ian Jeffrey says that they’re happy to see the app really “catching fire” since introducing this update, which represents a considerable change in strategy for the app. Transit initially launched as a free title, but was supported by recurring subscriptions to gain access to its services. Now all features are available for all users without any charge.
Transit co-founder and CEO Sam Vermette said in a statement around the version 2.0 launch that the decision to make it free was intended to help it continue to grow in international markets, and to help it secure a position as essentially the default choice for users looking for public transit directions on iOS. The Maps revamp earlier this year opened up a big hole there, and while the arrival of the standalone Google Maps app in the App Store threatened to close that gap, Transit clearly isn’t keen on giving up so easily.