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Alexa Transit brings bus and train routes to voice assistant navigation. Here's how to use it

Alexa can tell you when the next bus arrives or which train to take, thanks to its new smarts.

Molly Price Former Editor
2 min read
Listening to podcasts on Spotify on your commute
Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Earlier this year, Amazon announced Alexa Transit, an Alexa feature that provides navigation for public transit. It was available in a handful of large cities. The feature is now fully rolled out across the US, using navigation data from over 450 public transportation agencies. Here's how Alexa helps you navigate commutes, explore a new city and more. 

For basic transit navigation, Alexa can get you to and from places of interest and specific addresses via public transit. You also add your commute to your Alexa app for customized navigation, current commute times and status updates on your regular bus and train routes.

Public transit information isn't set up by default: You'll need to make a few changes in your Alexa settings to get started. Here's how to do that and make the most of Alexa's new transit feature.

Preferred commute options

To get started with Alexa Transit, you'll need to add public transit as your preferred commute type.

From the Alexa app, navigate to More > Settings.

Scroll down to tap Commute.

Under Commute Preferences, tap Car and you'll see the option to switch the preference to Public Transit

Commute preferences also offers fields to input your home and work address. Doing so enables you to ask Alexa things like, "How's my commute?" or "Alexa, when's the next train to work?" 

Alexa Transit works for more than just your preset work destination. You can also ask for transit navigation to addresses and points of interest. If you don't want to commit to making public transit your preferred commute type, you can ask Alexa, "How do I get to work by public transit?"

Screenshots by Molly Price/CNET

Transit status

If you're just curious about the status of your typical commute route, you can ask Alexa for status updates. To get current transit status ask something like, "Alexa, what is the status of the E Train?" or "Alexa, when is the next train from Rockefeller Center to the Metropolitan Museum of Art?" Alexa can let you know departure times and whether or not your preferred route is the fastest or most efficient.