Google announced that they’ve added more public transit information, including schedules in select markets.
Google points to a map of Zurich to illustrate schedule information. Click on one of the tram icons. In some cases, you must then click on the “View upcoming departures” link. It’s unclear whether this is just schedule information or real-time data; it looks like it might just be schedule. This also works in Portland, Ore. (I really wish generating a URL with the “Link to this page” button would preserve the state of the info balloons.)
I still want to see Google incorporate real-time information, similar to what is available from the WMATA for the DC Metro system.
Throughout the country, Google has added the lines served to transit stations.
You can also search an area for a station. For example, here’s a search for “Metro Center station”. That alone is nice, but it gets better. I often go in to DC to have lunch with friends who work near the McPherson Square station. Here’s a map of restaurants near McPherson Square.
Of the online map providers, Google has done the best job of making maps about more than just driving. Some public transit agencies and companies like NextBus have been offering information on their Web sites, on the phone and on the platforms. But its the distribution power of Google that’s going to bring this to the masses.
Unfortunately, the transit information isn’t yet available on Google Maps Mobile. The killer app for transit information is really on mobile devices.