Urban Engines app can help people catch buses and trains in big cities

It can be downright nightmarish having to squeeze and force your way into trains or buses during rush hours in big cities. A company founded by former Google employees called Urban Engines says its app can help you look for alternate routes, or even help you get around if you're not familiar with the area. For one, it can work without mobile data in some locations (which makes it a good choice for those who regularly use the subway), so long as it has an offline map of the place. Right now, the app comes with the offline maps of 10 North American cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C.

Unlike in Google Maps, you don't need to type locations: just drag the map to place your destination in the middle of the screen, and the app will come up with various routes for your commute. Finally (and best of all), the app has sort of an augmented reality feature called X-ray mode, which superimposes maps, bus or train routes and stops over the city as viewed by the camera. While this is Urban Engines' first product for consumers, it has been around for at least a year. In 2014, it focused on providing commuting patterns and data to some cities across the globe in an effort to prevent passenger congestion. If you think it could potentially be of use for your daily commute, you can download the company's app through either iTunes and Google Play.