The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has partnered with Google Transit to enhance planning a trip on the authority's bus, subway, commuter rail and boat service.
Similar to the MBTA's Trip Planner, Google Transit, a feature of Google Maps, is a Web-based application that plans a trip using public transportation options. The service calculates the route, transit time and any necessary walking directions.
This online feature, which provides directions in various languages using the public transit option on Google Maps, reaches people that the MBTA trip planner does not, by surfacing public transit itineraries as an alternative when a user does a directions search within Google Maps.
Including the Boston Metro area, Google provides transit information for many major cities across the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. Transit trip planning is also available on mobile phones including iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, S60 and other Java enabled phones.
"As America's first and oldest transit agency we strive to keep up with the latest technology," said MBTA GM Daniel A. Grabauskas. "Joining Google Transit enhances our online information capability for people locally and abroad seeking transit options. With Google Transit, travelers unaware of the convenience of public transportation can do a search and choose for themselves."
Google Maps provide written directions and maps to stations; schedule information and trip directions; and the ability to search by landmarks, businesses and other locations. Google Maps will now automatically show MBTA itineraries as an alternative to driving directions when available. It also provides a link to the MBTA's Website www.mbta.com, where riders can find scheduling information, customized planning tools and fare information.
A sampling of U.S. transit agencies who have partnered with Google Transit includes:
Boston, Ma Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA
Maryland MTA (including Baltimore and Maryland Transit bus stops within DC)
New York MTA (including the New York subway and commuter railroads)
Chicago Transit Authority
BART (San Francisco Bay Area)
Los Angeles Metro
Google Transit automatically creates transfers between agencies in overlapping service areas. Agencies that connect with the MBTA in Massachusetts and New England include the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority, Lexington's Lexpress and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.