Google Maps Now Does Real-Time Transit Info

Thu Jun 9, 2011 1:06am EDT

by Nino Marchetti

For those riding mass transit every day, a harsh reality is that it often doesn't run on time. One ends up standing at a bus stop or subway platform, impatiently looking at a watch and wondering when the bus or subway will show up. Live update options for when mass transit will actually arrive do exist, however, and now Google is looking to corral that data into its Google Maps software, which is already useful to green tech lovers for finding electric vehicle chargers and bike routes.

Google announced today on its blog that real time mass transit data is now available for free to users of Google Maps for mobile and also desktop. It isn't a big pool of transit providers Google is drawing from initially, but if you live in the regions of Boston, Portland, Ore., San Diego, San Francisco, Madrid and Turin, you'll now be able to actually know when your bus arrives, as opposed to the regular scheduled time.

Google explained that when one clicks on a transit station or plans a transit route through the Google Maps interface, a special icon will indicate what are called "live departure times" as well as service alerts (i.e. a change in a bus route). The company said as well it is working with our public transit agencies to help them provide live data to more people in more cities.

Live transit updates, according to Google, are available "in the latest version of Google Maps for mobile (requires Android 1.6+), as well as Google Maps on all supported desktop and mobile browsers."

Reprinted with permission from EarthTechling