Santa Monica, Calif.-based Big Blue Bus has partnered with Google Transit. The agency has provided its entire schedule and route information to the free Web-based service.
“The integration of Big Blue Bus information with the Google Transit database will have an immediate benefit for riders living in or visiting the Los Angeles area, especially those who use more than one transit system to complete a trip,” said Stephanie Negriff, director of transit services for the Big Blue Bus.
“We know our regular passengers are really going to enjoy using it, and we’re also hoping this will be a good way to introduce the convenience of public transportation to drivers who haven’t considered it a viable option yet,” she added.
Local transit advocates and regular transit riders have lobbied hard in recent years for a comprehensive and integrated online transit service that would take into account the entire network of public transportation options available in the Los Angeles area. Before the introduction of Google Transit, planning a trip often involved going to each individual transit agency’s website, making it difficult to piece together a cohesive trip from Point A to Point B.
Google Transit uses the information found in Google Maps to gather detailed information about a person's destination, including a business or attraction's hours of operation, address, reviews and more. It also includes 360-degree street-level photos of some destinations, making it easy for travelers to find their way once they arrive at a stop.
“One of the best features of Google Transit is its accessibility through any device with an Internet connection, including mobile phones, which can be really helpful if a person decides to change plans during a trip,” said Negriff.
In addition to the Big Blue Bus, other Los Angeles County transportation systems using Google Transit include: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles DASH system, Metrolink, Burbank Bus, Foothill Transit, Thousand Oaks Transit, Long Beach Transit and Amtrak.
Other Southern California agencies include: Orange County Transportation Authority and the Irvine Shuttle in Orange County, Omnitrans in San Bernardino County, the Riverside Transit Agency in Riverside County, and the Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District in San Diego County.