There’s no doubt that smartphones have changed the way we live and interact with cities. And in this case, there are several apps that you can use on your smartphone to connect with and learn about your neighborhood—whether you live in West LA or South LA.
Check out these 6 apps that you need to download today to live a better life in your Los Angeles.
- Citizen: Living in South LA, this is my go-to app every day. Made for local news lovers, the Citizen app tracks local news—mainly crime around you. Pro tip: This app only works in select areas, mainly big cities where crime data is publicly available. In LA County, you’ll see a bunch of reports in LA, but none in areas like Pasadena or Compton. Sorry folks, I guess LA is much more exciting than the surrounding municipalities.
On Citizen You’ll get updates from a small trash fire, to a person getting slashed in front of a 7-Eleven, to major car accidents. Most reports are pulled from public 911 entries, but other reports can be flagged by its very active user base. And if you’re appalled at what you see, keep in mind that LA is a big city. Crime is going to happen when you have a high density population—nearly 4 million people, crammed into 500+ square miles.
Download Citizen on the App Store or Play Store.
- MyLA311 – If you care about your community, or just enjoy snitching, you’ll love this app. Disclaimer, I just care about my community. If you’re in LA CITY, not County, but the city, you can use this app to report any 311 services. Bulky item pickup (Free for all residents in the City of Los Angeles), animal related services, municipal repairs (street lights), and public tree and vegetation-related questions. Pro tip: You can also use the city’s website to fulfill these request.
But did I mention, Bulky Item Pickup? It’s my favorite LA-city service. You can order bulky item pickup for anything that isn’t in a trash bag or isn’t hazardous. That means Mattresses, sofas, cabinets, dressers, plastic containers. As long as it’s big and empty, the city will pick it up for free when you report it and leave it on the curb. You can also use this app to report graffiti (It takes about a week or two before it’s masked up).
Download MyLA311 on the App Store and Play Store.
- The Works: Now, if you’re blessed not to live in LA city, but in a place that is supported by county services, like Compton, Willowbrook, or West Athens, you can use the LA County Public Works app called The Works. And let me tell you, this app is the works. You can complain about food operations, Illegal dumping, graffiti, road repairs and more. Unfortunately I have no idea how long it will take the county to solve these issues for you, but your voice will be recorded.
One of the newest features is from the LA County Department of Public Health, where you can now report spoiled produce and malpractice at grocery stores throughout the county (including LA City).
Download The Works on the App Store and Play Store.
- Broadcastify: If you want to be in the know, and if you’re a big fan of Broadcastify. You can use this app to tune in to public service broadcast signals near you. In the Los Angeles area, you can tune in to the police, paramedics, and fire department. Pro tip: In California, if you use a scanner of any kind to get away from the police, you’ll be subject to harsher penalties. If you’re in South LA, you’ll want to tune into the South Division of LAPD, or LAFD. Otherwise, you can easily Google your division and tune in on the app.
Download Broadcastify on the App Store and Play Store.
- Nextdoor: You know, I was a bit skeptical of this app in South LA. I didn’t think anyone would use it, but I was wrong. Nextdoor is a great app to help you share news with your neighbors, city service leaders, and elected officials. In my part of Nextdoor, there are a lot of reports of lost dogs and local service providers. Yours could be different. Regardless, this is a great opportunity to connect with your neighbors, get a tip on free stuff, learn about neighborhood events, and read updates on city services.
Download Nextdoor on the App Store and Play Store.
- Transit: To conclude, I added an app that most people from Los Angeles won’t use, but a few will find extremely useful: Transit. I know a lot of people give LA Metro a hard time, but I have to give it to them with how extensive their bus lines are. If you’re trying to get somewhere in LA, this app will tell you if you’re a bus ride or four from your final destination. With Metro’s new NextGen Bus Plan, the transportation agency has promised more frequent and efficient trips. So if you’d rather save $40 by not taking an Uber, this app can help you along the way. Pro tip: In Los Angeles, you can now use apple pay to load up your tap card. Check out more on Metro’s Tap app. It’s great, cheap transit in a pinch, especially if you don’t have cash on hand.
Download Transit on the App Store and Play Store.
Have any useful apps that make living in Los Angles easier? Drop them in the comment below.