AC Transit joins the Google Transit roster. A few weeks ago, we reported that Muni was finally integrated into the Google Maps transit planner, and we are very happy to report that AC Transit has also been added to the roster. The bus stops for Muni and AC Transit have not been permanently embedded into the maps (as Google has already done for VTA), but the schedules have been integrated into the trip planning interface. The planner now covers trips on BART, Muni, AC Transit, Caltrain, or VTA. It also plans trips that require transfers between any of those agencies; a quick test trip from San Francisco’s Richmond District to Oakland’s Pill Hill yielded the expected Muni/BART/AC Transit instructions. It has been exciting to see Muni and AC Transit come on board recently. The combined daily ridership of the five agencies now covered by the Google planner is close to 1.5 million — triple what it was before adding Muni and AC Transit. This will go a long way towards opening up this tool to more people across the Bay Area, and it will hopefully raise drivers’ awareness of the fact that many of their destinations may lie within easy reach of transit.
Yay! I tried out some routes on the site and I must say that it is much more accurate than 511.org, which often sends me down bus lines that force me to walk more than 5 blocks when there’s another bus line that would drop me off right in front of my destination.
Yep… that’s 511 for you! Google sweeps in and has managed to do more in a few months than 511 has been able to pull off for years.
Google Transit rocks if you’re in SFO or Portland or Pittsburgh or any number of places (even Johannesburg!) but I’m in DC right now and despite having one of the best Metro rail systems in this hemisphere, we still aren’t in Google Transit.
Makes trip planning on my iPhone a real pain.