Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Google Transit now in Rhode Island

A semi-Earth Day related post for Earth Day:

Google Transit now covers RIPTA buses in Rhode Island. I will use it for all my route planning needs. (In fact, I don't have a choice as the official RIPTA trip planner now simply embeds Google Maps.) Unfortunately, while the service is quite useful now, imagine what it would be like if it included systems that actually connect? Currently, the Bay Area appears to be the only area in the US which covers multiple systems (and it already has its own multi-system route planner). I think Google has an initiative to help transit agencies publish their information (which allows us to use alternative route planners).

The trip planner passed my sanity check: I asked for directions to the airport and it was smart enough to know that one should never take the 20 (it always leaves earlier and arrives later than the 14 -- not sure what its purpose really is).

Also, some tiny annoyances involving the walking direction. Walking directions currently lack detail (known bug) and you need to do more searches to get distances or routes for these (though strangely, timing information is given instead). There are also no controls on the preferred amount of walking distance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was dwelling on this the other day: How insanely close we are to giving multi-system routes - all we need is the data exposed. The hard part (developing routing algorithms) is done. It's almost maddening that the future isn't here yet.