Friday, October 05, 2007

New Google Maps Feature: Public Transit Directions

My days of blogging about Google Transit as a standalone Maps powered service are over.. Google Transit is now a core feature within Google Maps! The Google LatLong Blog has recently announced that Google Transit has graduated from Labs and is now enhancing the directions feature within Google Maps. If you are seeking directions within one of the regions where transit coverage exists the option will appear after you've entered your start and end points. Here is a screenshot:

The addition of public transit routing greatly enhances the Google Maps directions feature and opens it up to millions of additional users who don't travel by car. I personally believe this will also have a positive environmental impact as many instantly realize the same route could be traveled using a transit vehicle already going there, instead of their own cars. Public transit joins many other features that enhance directions on Google Maps for users all over the world; Draggable driving directions, the ability to avoid highways and live traffic conditions for select US cities.

The Google Transit site won't go away with this Google Maps integration either. Christoph Oehler's post points out that it will still live on at to facilitate learning about what areas have transit coverage on Google Maps. Transit agencies are also encouraged to take a look at the Transit Spec to see how they can take part in this world-changing project (for free).

Google Ride Finder Adds Google Maps Integration to Aid Carpoolers
Additional Transit and Transportation Mashups

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