When you’re new to a city it can be hard to get acclimated. In Boston you can find a lot of information on the city’s web site, but do you want to wade through an entire web site every time you need some information? How long will that take, and while the City of Boston’s web site is mobile friendly I prefer to use it sparingly and only on a laptop or tablet. For instant information and information on the go I prefer to use apps. These are the ones I find most useful:
Trash Day: if you won’t be living in a high rise you’ll need to know when to put your trash out for pick up. Trash days vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and even within a neighborhood. You’ll need to know if you can put out both trash and recycling on the same day. There are also designated days for leaf and yard waste pickup as well as paint and motor oil drop off dates/locations. This app also tells you if trash will be picked up when your regular day falls on a holiday. Not sure you’ll remember to put out your trash on the right days? No problem. The app can notify you the day before or the day of at a time you specify. Find the app here: Android version of Boston Trash Day, iPhone version: Boston Trash Day
MBTA: If you will be travelling by public transportation in the Greater Boston Area you’ll want an app that will help you get to your bus stop or train station at the right time. There are apps that focus on the bus system, apps for the commuter rail, apps for the “subway”. There are even apps that only give information for a specific train line i.e. the MBTA Red Line. The app you choose will depend on your personal transportation needs. I mainly travel by bus and so use the YourBus MBTA Tracker app. Here are a selection of MBTA apps for android in the Playstore. Here are a group of MBTA apps for iOS. The MBTA website also has an app showcase with apps for Windows, iOS and Android.
Parking: In Boston you’ll find two different types of parking meters. The most common type is the single space meter; one meter for each parking space. The second type is the Pay and Display meter. These meters cover multiple spaces. There is usually more than one on each block. You can pay at any of the meters in the vicinity of your space. These meters take quarters, debit or credit cards from Mastercard and Visa. The Pay and Display meter will dispense a printed receipt that you put in the curbside window of your car. Don’t have quarters and don’t want to use a credit or debit card? You can also pay by phone at most meters with the ParkBoston app: Android version, iOS version
311: 311 is an for reporting problems to the City of Boston. You can report litter/trash problems, health hazards, street and park damage, broken lights, graffiti, tree issues and other general issues you’d like the city to address. In addition to seeing the status of your report, you can also see recent reports made by residents. Android version, iOS version.